Arkhe - Arkhe

Year of Release: 1997
Label: 99th Floor/Underground Symphony
Catalog Number: USCD-022
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:58:00

This is uncharacteristic of me, to put up a review with only 1 1/2 listens to a disc ... but I know Christian [another poster on Perpetual Motion] is standing alone with this disc trying to figure it out like I am, and I have it on the headphones as I write this ...

His impressions of a Dream Theater clone were more precise than I heard after one quick remote pass through it without stopping to hear what he was saying, so with that said, here is a review after 1 whole listen ...


Probably one the closest sounds to Dream Theater I have heard in a long time, maybe even closer than Empty Tremor ... the reason for this is the singer, who I will address, and the Images And Words / Awake styled riffs ... the only thing missing here is THE John Petrucci signature crunch, and as far as I am concerned, no one has ever been able to re-produce that Petrucci sound other than Bernd Basmer of Superior ... the riffs are here, the stops and starts are here, and even intertwining solos between keyboard and guitar are here ... this gets more and more like DT every step of the way except for 2 tracks, which are a little laid back, prompting my comments about the prog rock feel I was rebutting with Christian ...


Superb ... everything is well mixed, although the ONLY thing missing here is the heavy guitar mix, which was produced by Arkhe, and my feelings are now that Italians purposely do this to ALL of their guitar sounds ... for some reason, they don't want their sound to be like a Petrucci, or a Tad Morose ... this would certainly give them a forceful advantage when it comes to debating which Italian band serves up the best prog, because they all have that guitar-back-in-the-mix approach ... overall, this thing is clean, crisp and worthy of any player ... excellent recording ...


There has never been to my knowledge, a singer that comes to sounding EXACTLY like James Labrie ... there has always been mention of "sounds like", or "has that same tone" as LaBrie ... well, all LaBrie lovers unite!!!! This guy is THE next coming of LaBrie ... and you all know my penchant for singers, especially Italian ones ... What's exciting is that I had previously mentioned that the guy in Empty Tremor broke the bad Italian singer curse, and was the best to date along with the Fates Warning singer from Madsword ... make room folks, theres a new boy in town, and his name is Pino Tozzi ... if there was a James LaBrie school of sound, or singing lessons, then this guy graduated with an A ... this guy must have tapes of James Labrie lying around his house constantly honing his voice to sound like this ... and you think copying is bad thing?? How many of us would want a voice like LaBries?? ;o) This guy has one ... I'll go on record to say that he is THE best, or one of the best Italian singers I have ever heard ... unless you favor Ray Alder, then you would vote for the singer of Madsword ... or if you wanted to combination of both, you would vote for the guy in Empty Tremor ... This guy gets my vote hands down ... he rules ...


If I wanted to sum this up, I would just say, listen to Awake, and you would have a great ideas of what these guys sound like ... The only thing missing here is that John Petrucci signature sound, and other than that, every one in this band sounds like his counterpart in Dream Theater, and yes folks, we finally have an Italian keyboard player that resembles Kevin Moore ... this guy has to keep with his guitar players solos note for note, and this he does with ease ...


I owe Christian an apology ... I probably had Soundscape playing when I read his comments, prompting the prog rock sounds, as well as track 5 or 6 on Arkhe's disc that caused a little disagreement, but after 2 passes through this disc, there is no doubt in my mind that this disc is THE ultimate tribute disc to Dream Theater that I can rememeber in a long time ... I have to say, that this is blowing me away after 2 listens ... and I recommend everyone who is bumming over a Dream Theater release delay, or someone who loves that Dream Theater sound ... or especially those who love James LaBries singing voice ... I went back and read the CD insert, and sure enough, there are the thank you notes from the band to:

Kevin Moore
Markus Britsch (Ivanhoe)
Geddy Lee
Fates Warning
Dream Theater (BINGO)
Mike Portnoy
Allan Holdsworth
Steve Vai
Vinnie Moore

Does this list give you an idea of who these guys emulate, admire, and sound like?????

BUY THIS WITHOUT HESITATION IF YOU LOVE ANYTHING ABOUT DREAM THEATER ... unless you are tired of Dream Theater ... I recommend this one without even hearing it first ...

I'm not even feeling guilty for retracting my earlier statements about this not being a DT clone, my judgement and ears have been clouded with the 25 or so discs I have picked up over the past 2 weeks ... :O)

[3/5 of the band joined Time Machine in 2001 -ed.]

Chains (8:26) / Wings Of My Freedom (8:33) / The Grey Falcon (8:47) / The Dark Light (9:26) / Unison (6:54) / Silence And Fear (4:05) / Le Voyant De Salon (14:12) / Birth Of Soul

Pino Tozzi - vocals
Lorenzo Milani - keyboards
Gianluca Ferro - guitars
Michele Buzzetti - bass
Claudio Riotti - drums

Arhke (1997)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Hits: 1955
Language: english


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