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Arnioe - 'One Before X' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9d/f0/70/3007_arnioeonebeforex_1353788257.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 24, 2012    
 
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A very, very unadventurous and weary album.

The brainchild of multi instrumentalist Aron Scharfegger, Arnioe is a project band from Auatralia whose five previous albums are quite beloved in certain prog circles, apparently. With Scharfegger playing the vast majority of instruments and providing vocals, it only becomes a project on the few occasions a guest or two is allowed to join in, in this case on three of the nine tracks, so it’s more of a solo album really.

I have to be honest and say straight off I did not get on too well with this album. Although there are some nifty musical flourishes throughout, they are a small oasis of enjoyment in the desert of drudgery that is ‘One Before X’. With an average track length of six and a half minutes, this is an album that doesn’t fly by. The tracks all suffer from a poor vocal mix and a slightly less poor instrumental mix that doesn’t help matters, but mainly the problems stem from the fact that even for self indulgent prog the tracks are a big yawn.

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Mind you, it may be a blessing that the vocals are right back in the mix, as Scharfegger has a rather dull voice that seems to want to be Peter Gabriel or Francis Dunnery but can’t hold a candle to either. When he throws in a cool guitar flourish it helps immensely, and although they’re nothing technically special they fit nicely into the songs.

Prog can be a very personal thing, and I prefer mine to have a bit more life to it. ‘One Before X’ has succeeded in sapping my will to live as I’ve tried exhaustively to get to grips with it and look for positive things to say about it. In the end, it is just a very, very unadventurous and weary album that would have benefited from the addition of an expressive vocalist and a better production. Sometimes it’s better to let other people have a go, Aron…

Alan Holloway

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