Band: Arabs in Aspic 2
Band Website: www.arabsinaspic.org
Label: Black Widow Records
Label Website: www.blackwidow.it
Release Date: 2013
This is the third CD release from the Norwegian band known Arabs in Aspic 2. Their name inspired by King Crimson the music here incorporates some of the heavy Crimson sound along with lots of other seventies influences. The band is made up of Jostein Smeby (guitars, vocals), Stig A. Jørgensen (Hammond, piano, synth, vocals), Erik Paulsen (bass, fretless bass, vocals), Eskil Nyhus (drums, percussion) and Rune Sundby [Ruphus] (guest vocals). This is music that balances delicately between heavy stoner rock and boundary pushing heavy symphonic prog.
There are eleven compositions on Pictures in a Dream; a full 56-minutes of music. The music gets underway with the two-part “Rejected Wasteland/Pictures in a Dream” [6:05] which almost displays an early Supertramp sensibility. Then with track two it’s a totally different vibe which starts out with yet another seventies styled bluesy guitar riff before exploding into all its glory sounding much like Frigid Pink. Then the song pulls back into a cooler tone, the vocals start weaving their melodies in a subdued, moody feel. Then at the three minute mark the mid-tempo piece kicks into high gear with the solos from guitars and synths trading off time in the spotlight. Again the feel of early blues bands like Savoy Brown or Status Quo rear their musical heads. Cascading blues riffs overlap each other before returning to the heavy opening chords reminiscent this time of a song like “21st Century Schizoid man.” So you get the idea, lots of nice ballsy blues guitar chords interspersed with widdley synth lines which will break way for some softer acoustic guitars and vocals.
Arabs in Aspic 2 create a pretty captivating musical sound. It’s a style I don’t hear that much; that mixture of seventies blues and other stuff. On one hand it’s totally reminiscent of music I heard as a kid and yet it has a very modern vibe. I’m liking this a lot. Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest – check out Arabs in Aspic 2 – Pictures in a Dream. There’s some great music to be heard.