Areknamés - In Case Of Loss...

(CD 2010, 57:54, Black Widow BWRCD 120-2)

The tracks:
  1- Beached(6:57)
  2- Alone(5:48)
  3- Dateless Diary(5:27)
  4- Don’t Move(5:52)
  5- A New Song(7:28)
  6- Where(5:12)
  7- The Very Last Number(20:56)
         - a. Main Theme & 1st Variation
         - b. Escaping
         - c. Limbo
         - d. Flashback
         - e. Last-Ditch Attempt
         - f. Escaping (reprise)
         - g. An Alternative Endpoint
         - h. Farewell (incl. Brief Joyful Digression)

Areknamés Website        samples        Black Widow Records

While getting information about Areknamés I read that this Italian band has been strongly influenced by both Van Der Graaf Generator and the Canterbury-scene! However, when I listened to their third album In Case Of Loss... I was surprised that I couldn’t discover any of those mentioned influences. Only in the longest and final piece The Very Last Number, the saxophone and the Hammond-organ showed some resemblance with Van Der Graaf Generator. The Canterbury-influences are indeed clearly present in their music, but in a very subtle way. This means their music doesn’t sound like an album made by Caravan, Soft Machine, National Health or any other Canterbury-band. Strangely enough, while listening to the first two songs Pink Floyd, with a leading role for the late Richard Wright on vocals and keyboards came to my mind. Anyway, I liked In Case Of Loss… a lot. The album gave me a pleasant feeling.

Throughout the album Areknamés have a great feeling for moods and atmospheres. Moreover they show they can perfectly handle the up-tempo and the mellow parts in one track. These things struck me most while listening to In Case Of Loss… Especially Michele Epifani, the band’s mastermind, is responsible for the perfect sound on this record. Everything on this album indicates that he’s a wonderful composer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. This professional musician not only plays vintage keyboards like the Hammond-organ and the Mellotron, but also the piano, all kinds of synths, harpsichord, recorder and acoustic and electric guitars. Together with seven other musicians he created six rather long tracks featuring a lot of Mellotron that plays a prominent role in the arrangements along some heavy guitar riffs and some excellent guitar solos. Every now and then, the cello and the violin parts give the music a very orchestral sound especially on the last and long epic piece The Very Last Number. 

The music on In Case Of Loss… made a deep impression on me, but initially it was the beautiful cover of this album that drew my attention. Well, that’s probably not that strange when you see a picture of the carcass of a whale on a beach in Florida in 1896. Anyway, and in my humble opinion, this album is one of the best Italian releases of 2010!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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