ARK - Ark

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Facefront Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:47:00

This was originally the project of guitarist Tore ?stby (ex-Conception, DC Cooper, Giant's Playground, Headcrash) and John Macaluso (ex-TNT, Riot, Spread Eagle, Alex Masi, Malmsteen), which started out in 1995. When Tore/John started this project (which now is a 3-piece band), they never had the intentions to get a deal but purely for making/writing good songs, jam and have a good time. The songs that can be found on this CD are basically songs that were created while jamming together. They were recorded in 95 and shortly after, the project was put on ice. At a later time the material was presented to J?rn Lande (ex-Mundanus Imperium, The Snakes, Vagabond, Millenium, Uli John Roth). A week later, he had come up with vocal-lines to almost all songs. Tore was of course impressed by this creativity and there now no doubt that this material had to be presented to a wider audience. J?rn was now added as their vocalist.

This is actually a really hard CD to pigeonhole. The music presented on this CD is highly original and can hardly be compared to any previous bands of these guys, nor any other bands that I can think of, which is actually a good thing. The state of the music is somewhere in hard rock/metal-land and is distinguished by odd time signatures/ tempo changes, complex structures, flamenco guitars, technical distorted guitars, and great vocals. The drumming is all over the place, coming off technical and playful. The guitars are varied and melodic, yet remaining technical. The solos of ?stby are, as always, really melodic and tasty. The keys are not always present, but overall more filling the background. The mid-ranged, husky vocals by Lande, who is best described as a blend of Coverdale, Dio and Bonnett, is melodic, powerful and emotional. The melody-lines is at first spin hard to access, but after a few more spins these songs really grow on you and this is hardly something that will grow cold on you with time. Rather the opposite. These songs get better for each spin. As a result of the circumstances these songs were recorded under, the overall sound is not that good, and could be better. On the other hand this does sound spontaneous and natural, and could probably not have sounded better in the first place. I have to admit that it does have charm and suits the final expression of the music, which is different, progressive and innovative.

Note that this is probably not every one's cup of tea, but I urge everyone that is open for something progressive and innovative to check these guys out. Ark is a really interesting, talented and creative acquaintance. The second CD is already in the making. Can't wait to hear what these guys can come up with on the upcoming album!

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Burning Down / Where The Winds Blow / The Hunch Back Of Notre Dame / Singers At The Worlds Dawn / Mother Love / Center Avenue / Can't Let Go

J?rn Lande - vocals
Tore ?stby - guitars
John Macaluso - drums

Ark (1999)
Burn The Sun (2001/2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: November 25th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1128
Language: english


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