Arachnes, In Praise Of Science, 2006

arachnes - in praise of scienceA band that deserves more attention in my humble opinion is the Italian outfit Arachnes. Core of the band are (brothers?) Franco Caruso on guitars and backing vocals, and Enzo Caruso on lead vocals and keyboards. On this disk they are accompanied by Gabriele Baroni on bass and backings and Stefano Caironi on drums. All musicians are accomplished players and for a quartet they are able to make a lot of noise.

Their style is a combination of power and progressive metal. So sometimes the double bass is a bit much, but the way they combine more vintage sounds like Hammond and Piano with the traditional metal sound is quite fun to these ears. Though I own a couple of their albums, I am not sure how extensive their back catalogue is, or even if they still exist.

The voice of Enzo, or Vincent, needs some time getting used to. I especially like him singing the more subtle stuff. More heavy parts have a vibrato and high pitch I can understand people find harder to get into. Still like it though, and quite some backing vocals present as well.

As I said at the start, I feel this bands deserves more attention, as I hardly ever read about them. So that is a good enough reason to pay attention to this quality band. CD´s are still pretty easy to find, and perhaps on sale, so pick one up when you get the chance.


Manfred Mann, 2006, 2004

manfred mann - 2006The booklet of this album gives us some nice insight in the way Mann works. And why the album is called 2006 and why only some tracks are with the Earth Band. I am not sure I really get the explanation, but anyway, this is about the music, so over to that. To my joy not only Noel McCalla sings, but Chris Thompson occasionally comes along as well. An other familiar name is Mick Rogers on guitar.

While some new territory is explored here (German Rap anyone?), much to my enlightenment this still sounds like genuine Manfred Mann. So anyone into his music, can safely buy this.
To explain the Mann sound to someone unfamiliar (do they exist?) is a bit tougher. So let me try with saying that this is melodic music, sung with a passion, and played by scene veterans. Lots of keyboards (oh yeah, Mann is the keyboard guy), and with creative arrangements in every aspect. Sometimes the guitars give the sound a harder jmore rockier edge. And while some older material sometimes borders into progressive music, the overall sound of his later material is so universal, anyone will be able to relate to it.
Again quality stuff from a guy that first made a name for himself in the sixties. Wow!