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Review: Arachnes - Apocalypse

Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 50:15
Tracks: 15
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 11, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)

Italy's Arachnes are one of those bands who come so close to greatness but then fall short of the mark, and it pisses me off every time I stick on one of their albums, because there are moments during Apocalypse (the band's third album, if I remember correctly) that make me want to weep with joy. As a Power Metal band, they sound something like Sonata Arctica during their Silence period, only with a better guitarist in Franco Caruso, and a singer (his brother) who sounds like a mix of Fabio Lione and Bruce Dickinson. They also manage to add a lot of progressive touches to their music without it sounding cluttered or big-headed. Later on, the band would become better chance-takers, but here all we get is the usual Italian fodder: double kick drums, flashy keys and harpsichords, high wailing vocals, and catchy as hell melodies (even though the lyrics make no sense whatsoever, you'll still be singing along with the likes of "A New Breathing" and "The Rain Song", I guarantee).

Their most direct album by a mile, Apocalypse has a very strong production, giving the guitars a cool crunch, the drums a healthy rattle, and even the keys sound great. The only real weakness is in Enzo Caruso's vocals, which while well performed, are a little aimless. This is also a concept album of some kind, but because of the badly translated lyrics I can't tell what the story is supposed to be. The performances here are worthy of attention, though, as the band have gone unnoticed despite their rather amazing abilities. So if you're looking for an album of shiny melodic Power Metal in the late 90s mould this is certainly a band (and an album) worth checking out.

Other related information on the site
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Review: Parallel Worlds (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Interview with Frank Caruso on February 11, 2007 (Interviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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