Arcadea - Arcadea album review

Brann Dailor and co explore the final frontier

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Writing for Prog, one encounters high-concept mission statements daily, but even these be-caped brows were raised by Arcadea’s pronouncement as “the last surviving space wizards since the final extinction”.

The collective brainchild of Mastodon’s drum warlock Brann Dailor, plus Core Atoms (Zruda, Gaylord) and Raheem Amlani (Withered, Scarab), Arcadea’s lune-y, synth-heavy prog metal meltdown has, for our money, more to offer than hyped Masto-project Giraffe Tongue Orchestra. Picture a Frankenstein’d Claudio Simonetti monster raised on a diet of Hawkwind and High On Fire and you’re in Arcadea’s ball park. Though Dailor’s vocals have increasingly been given a dusting in his day job, here he runs the gamut from guttural wail to freaky falsetto in a manner reminiscent of Josh Homme –proving just how much he’s been holding back. All the while that typically awe-inspiring drum base and Atoms’ and Amlani’s sizeable six-string and synth combos offer inventive and muscular backing. At 11 tracks in 40 minutes, it’s a gut-punch of a record, but not above giving you short intakes of breath. A mind-expanding comic book space safari set five billion years in the future? Wizard.