Hailing from France and charging out of the gate with a snazzily shot video, Arcania can easily fit in with the progressive death metal bigwigs of the day. The first comparison that came to my mind was the similarly melodic, yet undoubtedly heavy, Gojira. Their mammoth sound is also distinctive among the sea of melo-death drivel out there.
Cover art for this full-length, Dreams are Dead, could have been better, but I’m not really one to quibble too much – in any case, it sort of fits the feel of this album. Pleasant as the sound is, I don’t really see it having too much staying power; we’ll see if I eat my words by coming back to its catchy riffage again some time from now. On offer are highly re-listenable earworms like “Rise and Never Fall” (video above), “Face in a Mirror,” and “Suffering for an Answer,” as well as some killer instrumental work sprinkled in now and again.
If you need more comparisons before giving Arcania a try, perhaps think about a bit of Metallica, a bit of Jeff Loomis, a bit of In Flames (around the time Clayman came out, mayyybe a little later), cleanish vocals and some irresistibly fun breakdowns. Highly listenable.
(Great Dane Records, 2014)