Album Reviews

Arcane Dimension – Avantgarden

Usually when it comes to writing album reviews I choose albums that are in my “wheelhouse” mostly in the progressive metal/power metal genres. However, sometimes I get thrown a curveball, something outside my usual comfort zone, which is a welcome challenge as it gets my creative juices flowing and gives me the chance to write about something I’m not entirely familiar with. Enter the three-piece Tribal Fusion & Avantgarde Rock music & performance project from San Francisco Bay Area called Arcane Dimension. Featuring seductive the sultry and seductive female vocals of Teresa Camp, the GuitarViol (bowed guitar) melodies, edgy rock riffs, world instruments of Jarek Tatarek, driving beats and hypnotic tribal drums, and the bass talents of Jared Marill.

According to their band biography, Arcane Dimension has inked a worldwide deal with Ravenheart Music, UK based record label/distribution hub specializing in female fronted rock. Following the contract on May 2, 2014 Ravenheart Music UK officially re-released the band’s Avantgarden album, which replaced the self- release of the same name. Two bonus tracks were included, as well as added instrumentation & voices.

I first became familiar with Jarek’s talents when he was a guest performer with fellow Bay Area prog metal band In the Silence when the band performed at ProgPower USA’s Thursday night kick off show in 2013. The music style on Avantgarden is as far way from metal as one can get, but for the musically adventurous like yours truly, I was up for the challenge. Musically, the group relies on Middle-Eastern melodies, programmed tribal drum loops, and Camp’s enchanting and seductive vocal delivery.

Avantgarden is a journey through Middle-Eastern chord progressions and Camps hypnotic vocals. I find similarities with Camp’s vocals and her peers Anneke van Giersbergen and the quirkiness of Tori Amos. Tatarek is a fine composer and multi-instrumentalist who has crafted a unique blend of rock and world music. Highlights include the tribal rock of Beyond The Horizon, the trippy Middle-Eastern flair on Love Hypnotique, the multi-harmony vocals featured on Haunting The Muse, and the eerie haunting keyboard melodies and Tatarek’s GuitarVol work on the title track.

Recently, Camp and Tatarek announced a side project to Arcane Dimension titled Arcane Ritual, which will focus more on heavy metal compositions as opposed the the world music rock of Arcane Dimension. I am extremely interested in what the duo come up with. In todays musical landscape it is all to easy for bands to become cookie cutter and copy other styles and trends. it is here that Camp and Tatarek distinguish themselves from their peers with a unique musical vision combined with theatrical elements. As you may imagine, for one to truly appreciate what Arcane Dimension has to offer, I feel that you have to witness their theatrical visual presentation, which includes belly dancers, costumes, and even snakes. If you are a metalhead with an open mind to new soundscapes and genres, you should give Arcane Dimension a listen.

Check out there Bandcamp page HERE

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