Ars Nova - The Goddess of Darkness

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4196.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:38:00

Fans of EL&P take note! You're going to adore these three lovely ladies and their powerful keyboard-based symphonic prog rock. These women kick serious butt. Comprised of Keiko Kumagai on keyboards, Kyoko Kanazawa on bass, and Akiko Takahashi on drums, Ars Nova cranks out one power-packed opus after another. Although EL&P is an obvious influence, much of this music is more complex then EL&P's ouvre, with enough musical ideas in a single cut to base an entire EL&P album on.

Most of the tracks on this album, which tend to be in the 10-minute range, travel at 100 miles an hour, with whirlwinds of notes flying in every direction and meter changes being as common as 4/4 time in a Britney Spears song. The energy here could power the space shuttle. One gets the feeling that it's almost impossible for these players to lay back for anything approaching mellow. Okay, there are a few quieter moments on the album, but they quickly mushroom into wonderful hurricanes of sound. I'm willing to bet that if you sat these three women in chairs, they couldn't sit still for more than a minute!

Seriously, though, this is symphonic rock at its most symphonic. It's easy to imagine a full orchestra performing these pieces -- and getting all hot and sweaty as they did. If I had to come up with a complaint about this album, it would be its almost relentless assault on the senses, but that would be a minor quibble. After all, if you need a break, you can always listen to only half the album at a time. (These days, CDs are so long, that I often do that anyway.) Yes, these ladies need to learn to relax here and there, but who really cares? I say if you can kick butt, do it.

Kali (9:21) / Fury (4:24) / Morgan (11:41) / Isis (4:41) / The Gorgons (10:30)

Keiko Kumagai - keyboards
Akiko Takahashi - drums
Kyoko Kanazawa - bass

Fear And Anxiety (1992)
Transi (1994)
Goddess Of Darkness (1996)
Reu Nu Pert Em Hru / The Book of The Dead (1998)
Android Domina (2001)
Lacrimaria (EP) (2001)
Biogenesis Project (2003)
Force For The Fourth - Chrysalis (2005)
Altavoz Masterpiece Series 2006 (6CD box) (2006)
Seventh Hell (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin JP

Added: June 5th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 1532
Language: english


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