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Occupying a unique place in the Australian progressive music scene, Arcane’s virtuosic musicianship, transcendental live performances and 2009’s critically acclaimed, dark and enigmatic concept album 'Chronicles Of The Waking Dream' have earned them a inimitable reputation as one of Australia’s premier progressive rock bands.

Sharing stages with artists as diverse as Soilwork (Swe), Queensryche (USA), Dead Letter Circus, sleepmakeswaves, Toehider, The Eternal, Five Star Prison Cell, NeObliviscaris, Hazards Of Swimming Naked and hundreds more, Arcane's live show, often accompanied by a backdrop of staggering visualisations, is a vast sensory experience.

The band's second album Chronicles Of The Waking Dream features a dense narrative story arc; which has not been fully elaborated on by the band. The story arc has been linked to several viral websites, a MySpace page belonging to one of the album's many characters, and a bizarre hex code, which has appeared throughout Arcane's develoment, appearing in the
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ARCANE Discography

ARCANE albums / top albums

ARCANE Ashes album cover 3.61 | 5 ratings
Progressive Metal 2007
ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream album cover 3.75 | 9 ratings
Chronicles Of The Waking Dream
Progressive Metal 2009
ARCANE Known/Learned album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Progressive Metal 2015

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ARCANE Reviews

ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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On this second album Arcane offer up a musical style derived from prog metal; start with something reminiscent of Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation, put a major emphasis on the keyboards (courtesy of Matthew Martin), and dial back the prominence of the guitars (played here by Michael Gagen) and you might arrive in the same general territory as Arcane explore here. Those who like their prog metal a little harder-edged may find it somewhat soft and melodic for their tastes, but on the whole it's a competent release which should please fans of the lighter end of prog metal or the heavier end of prog rock.

ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Australian progressive metal act Arcane. The album was released through Arcane Australia in September 2009.

The band released a promising debut album in 2007 titled "Ashes", and the dark and melancholic progressive metal style featured on that album is continued and further developed on "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream". While the debut album featured a 24:15 minutes long title track, which was divided into five parts, "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" takes that concept a little further as all tracks on the album seque into each other to form a regular concept album. Arcane play a layered and keyboard heavy type of progressive metal with both really heavy moments but also mellower emotional sections too. While the instrumental part of the music is impressive enough, it´s the vocals by Jim Grey that really set Arcane apart from most other progressive metal acts. He has a very distinct sounding voice and a convincing emotional delivery.

The tracks are structurally challenging, dynamic and it´s hard to pinpoint just one influence. I think I hear influences from both "classic" progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater, but also influences from the more alternative part of the progressive metal scene. Acts like Riverside and A Perfect Circle probably aren´t strangers to these guys either.

"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is not an easy listen and it´s taken me quite a few listens to grasp the full 59:15 minutes long album. There´s simply a lot to take in, but in a positive way. So if you enjoy your progressive metal challenging (not necessarily focused on constant technical playing though) and delivered with great emotional impact "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is definitely a recommended listen. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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This is my first encounter with the band and what a pleasant experience to discover a unknown band producing a cd of that quality. Strong compositions throught out this cd with a dark atmosphere create by the beautiful and emotional vocals and and the sound of keyborads With some long tracks we have a lot of change of pace that shows the ability of the band to built a tempo where the emotion is growing on you. It's heavy at times and very delicate at others that make me think of Riverside and Pain of Salvation. So, a impressive cd of melodic heavy progressive that stand out as one of the best release in that genre.


Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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"Ashes" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian, Brisbane based progressive metal act Arcane. The album, which was originally intended to be released as an EP and only to feature the 24:15 minute long "Ashes" title track, was released through OzProg Music in February 2007. Now with 4 additional tracks and a playing time of 55:57 minutes.

The band play a very intricate form of progressive metal with interesting song structures, a generally dark and melancholic atmosphere and of course impeccable and at times virtuosic musicianship. The latter is more or less a trademark of the genre, so it´s not so surprising. Lead vocalist Jim Grey has a rather distinct sounding voice and it took me a while to learn to appreciate, but he sure is very skilled and after I have gotten used to his voice, I can´t imagine Arcane´s music without it. At times he reminds me of Jan-Henrik Ohme from the Norwegian act Gazpacho. There´s lots of passion and also bite in his performance. I like the fact that he is able to deliver both soft styled vocals and more raw almost aggressive vocals too. We´re not talking extreme metal vocals here though, just a commanding, powerful and passionte clean vocal style.

As such Arcane don´t bring much new to the table if you are well versed in progressive metal neither when talking instrumentation nor songwriting, but they deliver high quality material and it´s obvious that these guys are very talented and I´m sure they will release even more unique sounding material in the future. With a strong and unique sounding vocalist like Jim Grey there´s certainly a possibility that it might happen. Much great music begins with a quality vocalist and bearing that in mind Arcane are very fortunate to have Jim Grey.

There are many positive things to say about "Ashes" and overall I really enjoy the album, but unfortunately there´s one thing holding the album back from being really great. The sound production isn´t very powerful or well sounding and while I can live with that because the music is as convincing and well excecuted as it is, it´s still an issue that drags my rating down a bit. The sound is pretty powerless and some of the instruments (mainly the keyboards) sound detached from the rest of the instruments in the soundscape. So a 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted. With a better sound production "Ashes" would have been a sure 4 star (80%) rating.

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