I was really looking forward to the self titled debut from Arcadea, the side project of Mastodon’s Brann Dailor. I love Mastodon and Dailor is a huge talent. The good news is that Dailor does showcase his talents on this album. The bad news is that is buried under tacky 80s video game sounding synths.
There are two ways an album that is synth heavy can go. One way is like Ulver or Zombi which is atmospheric and otherworldly. The other way is this. It’s hyper, distracting and just flat out annoying. Tracks like “Gas Giant” or “Rings of Saturn” have good songs underneath but are destroyed by synths demanding your attention.
Under it all, Dailor puts forth a great effort. His playing is stellar, his voice is great. It isn’t heavy, but hyper. It isn’t organic. And it isn’t psychedelic. It sounds like non-keyboardists trying too hard to be keyboardist. I tried really hard on this one and after a while you realize that you shouldn’t force it. A shame that Arcadea didn’t follow that path.
1. Army of Electrons
2. Gas Giant
3. Rings of Saturn
4. Neptune Moons
5. Infinite End
7. Motion of Planets
8. The Pull of Invisible Strings
9. Through the Eye of Pisces
10. Worlds Can Go On
11. Magnificent Facade
Label: Relapse Records
Heard two songs from this, yeah, pretty bad, very disjointed. Sad, I was hoping for something like The Black Queen. Shouldn’t have been this bad, Dailor’s voice should fit this style of music, but I don’t even like the way he sounds here.
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I didn’t think it was his voice. He is a great singer and drummer but he seems out of place within the clatter of noise.
Hence the name, Arcade-a.