Quick Review Arcadea Arcadea

Well, if Mastodon‘s Brent Hinds has since hedged his initial assertions that he hates heavy metal, his bandmate Brann Dailor has certainly decided to spread his wings outside the metal fold with his new side project, Arcadea. Comprising a synth trio of Dailor, Raheem Amlani (Withered), and Core Atoms (Zruda), the concept of Arcadea might conjure up other synth acts popular among metal fans such as Zombi or S U R V I V E, but they are in fact anything but. Eschewing heavy handed atmospherics in favor of a near-hedonistic electro-prog style heavy on riffs – in spite of the deliberate absence of guitars – tracks like “Motion of Planets” and “Army of Electrons” feature surprisingly heavy, strident lyrics atop their respective old school synth freakouts.

Dailor’s heavy-handed drumming anchors the music in traditional song structure, with the keyboards offering surprisingly accessible, melodic passages that range from the mutant funk of “The Pull of Invisible Strings” to the propulsive “Rings of Saturn”, which sounds a bit like Queens of the Stone Age if the latter swapped instruments. Arcadea wavers a bit when it wanders off the heavier path and goes for the psych pop of “Neptune Moons” and the ambient acid of “Through the Eyes of Pisces”, but at a curt 39 minutes this record never quite wears out its welcome, and in fact showcases an artistic virility perhaps unexpected out of its concomitant band members. A daring effort by three gentlemen not afraid to challenge themselves musically.

Score: 8.5/10

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Source: Metal Injection