In the early days (1996) I loved Arcana, as everybody seemed to do. Then after a few releases everything kept sounding the same and especially when the vocals became ‘lyricless’ I lost interest. I heard a release every now and then and this time it is this 3 track, 13 minutes mini-cd that reached me. In the opening track Peter does not use his usual way of singing and the track is very nice. Then in the second track we are still presented soothing orchestrations and the vocals of the Bjärgö’s and it still sounds nice, but it just does not work for me. In track three, Cecilia tries a more operatic approach over a piano and soft orchestrations. Again, not for me… I am sure that people who do like Arcana (still) will also love this new mcd, but for me the magic has gone a long time ago. Oh well, what can one say about musical taste?
Links: Arcana, Cyclic Law
I do not think that I ever heard the music of Gustaf Hildebrand. For some reason I had the idea that he was a contemporary composer, such as Vladimír Hirsch. Not that this would be a reason to not listen to his music, but I guess I just never got to it. “Out Of The Darkling Light…” is nothing like a neoclassical cd, rather it contains soft dark ambient soundscapes with rhythms, ‘trance ambient’ perhaps, but more industrial in sound. The music is not particularly dark most of the time, more relaxing, but a few tracks remind of Bjärgö’s darker approach and these tracks have no rhythm either. “Out Of The Darkling Light…” is at least something else for a change. Not brilliant, but very interesting at times.
Links: Peter Bjärgö, Gustaf Hildebrand, Cyclic Law
This second solo album of Peter Bjärgö (Arcana, Sophia) is a melancholic, orchestral album. It reminds me a lot of Arcana. There is a lot of focus on Bjärgö’s voice, there is guitar and orchestrations. 7 Tracks that span 40 minutes. In the early days of Arcana, I was gripped by Pettersson’s (as his last name was before he got married) music. Arcana soon started to sound too much the same to me, but then he came with Sophia. The later albums of Arcana that I heard are good, but not really my thing. The same I can see of “The Architecture Of Melancholy”. The music is certainly good, but does not ‘work’ for me. People who are gripped by Bjärgö’s music will undoubtely love this new album.
Links: Peter Bjärgö, Cyclic Law
I was just wondering if Arcana would finally have found a way up or kept doing the same thing. They kept doing the same thing… “Raspail” is another soft orchestral release and Peter seems to keep trying to sound like Brendan Perry (and the music reminds of Dead Can Dance too too often). The first tracks are the most interesting, but after a while Arcana starts sounding like themselves again too much. “Raspail” is not a bad album, but it simply does not work for me anymore.
Links: Arcana, Kalinkaland Records
Mr Pettersson is so active that I stopped buying everything he releases. I don’t have the latest Arcana releases and I skipped the mcd that came before this full-length. Besides the endless flood of releases there is the point that most releases are good, but not brilliant, this also goes for “Spite”. The 45-minute cd starts with a dark ambient track that goes over in the bombastic industrial style that we came to know Sophia for. The second track is another quite heavy piece with harmonic singing (very nice!) and there are also more of the militant sounds. Something new are the vocals (sung or more in a grunt-way) which definately adds something to the music. Of course the sound is still very orchestral and the beats are still out-of-proportionally loud which I always found the most wonderfull thing about this project. The cd doesn’t sound too much like the previous releases but you immediately hear that it is Sophia. Like with the previous cds that is heavy industrial and dark ambient, some tracks are brilliant, other not too much. Overall another nice cd. I don’t like the artwork and the cover too much, but the photos inside the booklet are wonderfull. All of ‘industrial equipment’. <29/6/02><3>
I had to wait so long for this 10″, that I got it at the same day as the new cd, which has this 10″ as bonus-mcd (see below)!
A while back Peter Pettersson of Arcana released a surprising cd under the title “Sigillum Militum” (reviewed elsewhere) which contained some dark ambient and extremely bombastic industrial. He continues in this vein on this 10″ with three heavy tracks and a dark ambient one. Already more varried than the debut cd, which has a bit too much of the same.
This 10″ is the first Erebus Odora release and this label (?) also Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio on it’s page. <4/7/01><4>
As you may have heard Sophia is a solo project of Peter Petterson of Arcana. However I am not a very big Arcana fan I ordered this cd because it was said to be darker and more martial than Arcana. Sophia lives up most of what I hoped for.
This short cd (40 min) opens with a very nice dark industrial track and continues with an Arcana-like track with fierce drumming. Further the cd is full of dark ambient and industrial and bombastic martial and medievalish sounding tracks that definately proves this to be from the same mind as Arcana, but what I like a lot better. Only the irritating two minutes of nothing and the seven minute last track aren’t too good in my ears. <27/1/01> <4>
Here we have the new cd of Arcana and …well… it’s just a new cd of Arcana.
In 1996 this Swedish act debuted on the CMI label with a stunning debut. This was after highly acclaimed contributions to the CMI-sampler “…And Even The Wolves” from 95 and the 2×7″ compilation “The Heart Of Shadow Gods” on the same label. The “Dark Age Of Reason” cd contains totally awsome orchestral music, with marchdrums, bells and chanting. Soon Arcana was one of the most popular bands on the CMI-label. After the debut came two mcds and a fulllength that sounded exactly the same. Also contributions to new compilations didn’t bring anything new and now there is “…The Last Embrace”. Again orchestral music, marchdrums, bells and chanting totally bombastic and beautiful music, but exactly the same as before. When you never heard Arcana you will be amazed by their music, but if you followed them for the past four years, you can say nothing more than “it is a new Arcana”. No points for originality. Arcana became of copy of themselves…