CD Review: Arcade Messiah - II

Short Introduction

Arcade Messiah is a one-man instrumental metal music project from KingBathmat frontman John Bassett. It combines a mix of Metal/Post Rock/Stoner/Doom/Prog elements all together on one disc. The first album was released exactly one year ago and received a lot of positive feedback from fans all over the world.

John Bassett spoke to Prog Megazine about the resonace he received. He was surprised about the positive reactions so he decided to create a sequel. He further said that it's meant to be a sort of continuation of the first record but with the hope of being a better, bigger and more dramatic piece of music. The intention was to grow the music without losing the vibe and atmosphere of the original album. The next chapter in the history of Arcade Messiah is set for release on 22nd November 2015 via Bandcamp and then everywhere else on Nov 27 through Stereohead Records.

(c) by Arcade Messiah, used with kind permission

Summary / Player / Purchase-Link

Please bring some time to listen to the album properly. It comes with many layers of melody and variation in them that are ofter overwhelming on the first listen. But if you give them more spins you'll discover so many fine points that you'll wonder what you may've overheard the time before. 

The album is well worth some money. Currently the pre-order price is set at 0,99 GBP on Bandcamp until the release on 22nd of November 2015. Afterwards you'll be able to set the amount free of choice. Please give some bucks so independent and progressive music can continue to push on forward and offer all of us even more of these great musical journeys. It will take you out of your everyday life for a good amount on time and I remember having enjoyed every single minute of it.

If you decide to pick up a physical copy packed in a six panel digipack you'll be rewarded with a ninth track on the disc that add's a playing time of 19 additional minutes to your playing time. That track is something very special, all of you guys out there digging the long-tracks of progressive music will love this. It's like a never-ending epic.

The record will be released on 22nd November via Bandcamp. Currently a album preview is available for streaming as well as two full tracks. I've included the full songs at the Album-Overview section of the review. Here is the album-roundup to get a quick idea of the record:

Album-Overview (Track-by-track review)

Moon Signal: after a slow intro section the album starts with a high complexity. This is a well outworked piece of guitar work. It really needs a lot of time to get through all of the sections and comes in very rough. Don't let this hinder you. It's a rather heavy start to the album but the further tracks go in a bit easier.

Red Widow: More groove based progmetal. It's a breaker and positive "push-it-forward-track". Complex yet very fitting drums and guitar shred on this one. Rough sections follow cleaner parts and surprisingly some total soft-toned notes see the light towards the last third of the song. They lead over to a very dirstorted part with crushing guitars all over. The end comes fast and abrupt.

Black Dice Maze: The song starts out as a beautifull ballad with clean and pure guitars. The drums fit very well to this starting a soft rhythm. Drastically it all changes and a lot of roughness comes rushing in. This goes over to a typical prometal riff and finally unfolds into some more rough crushing and edgy guitar sound giving it all a more complex and hard sound structure. The next move goes back to the progmetal style and comes around clearer and in a more compact style. The end comes in very climatic and dramatic before the whole soundsphere collapses and goes back to some soft notes but not in the same style as at the beginning.

Gallows Way: A clear and calling sound speaks out of the guitar. Is there someone out there? This creates a very spheric and haunting atmosphere. I often wonder why some of the roughest records include hard tracks but at the same time there are these soft pearls in there as well. Those give you freezing chills. This is one of those shining diamonds. It doesn't last long but maybe you'll remember it as long in your mind as I did... The slightly distorted ending builds a crossing to the next track.

(c) by John Bassett, used wth kind permission

Fourth Quarter: A fine mixture of rougher and silker soundscapes can be found in this one. Held in a typical progressive style it's slightly hard but with a very warm and melodic tonality to it. Beautiful melodies can be found a lot in here.
It's like walking through a garderen that offers so many flowers to see. A intensive journey through what instrumental progressive music can offer in all of it's variations, diversity and complexity.

Via Occulta: A short intermission. Clear guitar notes flying around. The drums catch them up and form a little jam-alike atmosphere.

Read the Sky: A highly complex track. It get's back to the rough style. Held in a midtempo the track evolves around the main riff and comes with a lot of distortion. Inside of the storm you'll find a eye of melody that shine through. The darkest and hardest track of the album in my ears.

Start Missing Everyone: Spacy sounds start this one.But once that is gone sheer power takes over. A compact closing point. A good ending point for all people taking the download edition.

The Four Horsemen (CD-only-track): A catchy start to the epic with soft yet ever-changing guitar sounds and rhythm patterns. It evolves even further to a powerfull guitar bloom but not so heavily distorted as "Read the sky". It comes to a first peak towards nearly the half of the track and goes over to a somewhat ghostly spheric intermission just to come back with fresh power before going back in the softer mode and back to power again. The chilling and dreamingly sphere is present on the vast majority of the next track section before heavyness comes rushing back in. The drumming is most complex on this song. Lot's of variations and drum fills. The end set's a last mark on heavyness leaving me in the hope that we'll hear more of this great musician in the future.

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