August 7, 2014

Progressive Rock Review: Spleen Arcana-The Light Beyond the Shades

Release Date: February 3, 2014
Label: Independent

Spleen Arcana’s The Light Beyond the Shades is unlike any progressive rock album that I have heard before.  Its mix of progressive rock with space rock and psychedelic make for a unique listening experience that leaves a deep impression on one’s mind.  The brain child of French musician Julien Gaullier, who is self-taught by the way, Spleen Arcana offers a more serene and emotional progressive rock experience than the familiar loud, fast, and complex sound.  

The main driving force of Spleen Arcana, Julien Gaullier is responsible for the vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, and percussion.  David Perron rounds it out on the drums and Marie Guillaumet provides the backing vocals.  The Light Beyond the Shades is Spleen Arcana’s second album after their debut with 2009’s The Field Where She Died.    

The Light Beyond the Shades is composed of their majestic songs.  “Erin Shores” is the musical equivalent of watching a summer sunset at the beach.  The lyrics and atmosphere of the music evoke images of a landscape painting steeped in Romanticism.  It is an emotional and spiritual song that I think is the best of the three.  “Fading Away” takes things in a slightly different direction.  The space rock and psychedelic influences play a more prominent role.  The distorted and almost robotic sounding vocal sections make the song that much more memorable.   

Finishing of the album is the twenty-four minute epic song, “Memento Mori.”  Taking the beauty and emotion of the previous songs and adding it with stellar instrumental parts, “Memento Mori” is a grand achievement reminiscent of some of Pink Floyd’s longer songs, who have been a major influence on Spleen Arcana.  It is by far the most eclectic song, and although I find it to be interesting musically, there are times during the second half of the song where it drags.  It is a minor criticism, because the song is fantastic for the most part.

Spleen Arcana’s The Light Beyond the Shades is a rich and rewarding album.  It is the type of work that is made by a true artist.  The love and passion put into the music is clear and it is what makes The Light Beyond the Shades sure a joy to listen to.  Julien Gaullier is making music for all the right reasons and an artist who we all should be following. 

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL


1.Erin Shores
2.Fading Away
3.Memento Mori

Brian McKinnon  

August 7, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

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