Dec 2012 28

Arcana - As Bright as a Thousand SunsArcana - As Bright as a Thousand SunsArcana
Category: Goth / Darkwave
Album: As Bright as a Thousand Suns
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: An absolutely gorgeous album that is still difficult to fall in love with.


The seventh full-length from this near legendary Swedish darkwave outfit, As Birght as a Thousand Suns shows the experience of the act in its near perfect production and lavish style. However, despite everything so extremely right about the album, it seems mastermind Peter Bjärgö may have become a bit too comfortable with the formula as his gorgeous work struggles to keep its magic going throughout its runtime.

After the light and moody introductory track, “As the End Draws Near” washes over the listener with its hypnotic rhythm, steamy medieval arrangements, and the warm baritone voice of Bjärgö. “Inceptus” runs with the mood of the first track with its intoxicating and sexy sound that caresses your ears and leaves you with chills. “Medea” doesn’t quite captivate like its predecessors, but the female operatic vocals are quite lovely and make the song worthwhile. While the previous tracks seemed to largely convey a feeling of awe and mystery, “Leave Me Be” takes on a much more morose tone and feels dragged down by its own sorrow, ultimately feeling a bit bland. From this point, the magic of As Bright as a Thousand Suns seems to unravel as “Infinity” and “In Memorian” simply bore as it feels they just repeat the same hook over and over. “The Fading Shadow” gets things back on track with its more vocal focused approach that masks the repetition better, but as the album plays out, the spell is broken and an album that started as majestic and breathtaking ends just feeling “nice.”

The beauty of As Bright as a Thousand Suns is undeniable and, at times, blinding. Arcana is enticing, exciting, and exotic, but after several engrossing songs, the magic somewhat fades as the repetitive nature of the music becomes a bit more obvious. As the illusion fades, it’s hard to not to let a little bit of disappointment sink in; if only there was a bit more variety in the composition, As Bright as a Thousand Suns would easily be an instant classic that would never lose its charm. It is, unfortunately, just a good album that feels like it could have been better.
Track list:

  1. Somnolence
  2. As the End Draws Near
  3. Inceptus
  4. Medea
  5. Leave Me Be
  6. Infinity
  7. In Memorian
  8. The Fading Shadow
  9. As Bright As a Thousand Suns
  10. Vinter

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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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