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Album Review

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Hard Times
4.5

4.5

Stars

Hard Times

Arcansiel

607

#

Italy

Arcansiel's fourth album, "Hard Times," marks a significant return for the Italian neo-prog band, delivering a collection that is easily their best work to date. This album, their first in three decades, showcases a remarkable blend of musicianship and thematic depth. With just four tracks spanning 45 minutes, each piece offers a journey through intricate melodies and complex harmonies that are reminiscent of early Genesis, particularly in songs like "Heaven is Not Here."

Gianni Lavagno, the only surviving original member and drummer, alongside the new lineup, has brought a fresh yet familiar sound to "Hard Times.” As the title would suggest, the album reflects on the societal, cultural, and ethical challenges of our era. The musical execution is tight, with every instrument playing a pivotal role in delivering the album's message. Dynamics abound, as evidenced in the first track, the 18-minute epic “Too Late."

Arcansiel

"Hard Times," marks a significant return for the Italian neo-prog band, delivering a collection that is easily their best work to date. This album, their first in three decades, showcases a remarkable blend of musicianship and thematic depth.

Arcansiel manages to maintain the essence of neo-prog while keeping each track accessible, with its melodic approach and thoughtful composition. The balance between technical proficiency and melodic sensibility is well-maintained, making it a compelling listen from start to finish.

"Hard Times" showcases Arcansiel's ability to adapt and evolve over time, demonstrating a deep understanding of both their genre and the current era. Their expertise is evident in the craftsmanship of each track, blending technical skill with accessible melodies.

Hopefully we don’t have to wait another 30 years for more output from this now contemporary neo-prog outfit.

Tune in to Prog Radio to hear tracks from “Hard Times” in our current new music rotation, and look for it to be featured in this week’s “What’s New Proggy Cats?” show on Monday and Tuesday.

4.5 Stars

Released:
Run Time:
Highlights:
Reviewer:
Mar 29, 2024
45 min
Too Late • Heaven is Not Here
Kevin Carmony
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