Ars Nova - Android Domina

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4347.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:22:00

After listening to Ars Nova for the first time,'s designer/webmaster/university-student-tortured-by-his-teachers Luis told me that he refused to ever hear anything from the band again, due to the fact that the music gave him nightmares. He kept referring to a baby's cries, which I assume were from the instrumental "Mother," and I'm still suspicious that he was about to have a nervous breakdown, grab the nearest axe, and go perform some pagan sacrifices. My reaction? This band rules!

Android Domina is the latest effort on behalf of this Japanese female trio, an enormously intense wall of keyboards that revels in inflicting a musical pain of acute delicacy and then bludgeoning the senses by means of unending barrages of grinding melodies, all submerged in the cruelest of minor key evils. Of course, the darkness comes at the cost of precluding any peaceful sleep for the next few hundred years, but if nightmares can ever be deliciously wicked, it is only through the sinister beauty of an act like Ars Nova.

Led by Keiko Kumagai, the band absorbs the most foreboding elements of classical music and merges them into a monster of epic proportions, strengthened by Akiko Takahashi's imposing drums and the vibrant strength of heavily intense rock. Instrumentals are adorned via baroque counterpoint, augmented through romantic sense of grandeur, modernized through electronic samples and effects, and forged in fire by means of dissonant chromaticisms. Hammond swirls jump from out of nowhere and synthesizers clash in an intense war for absolute domination, while passages are varied in a multi-movement beauty that remains dynamic, classy, and aggressive at the same time. Kind of what you'd get if you mixed the DNA of Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, and Shostakovich, threw in a good deal of Italian blood, inserted memories of both symphonic rock and heavy metal, and brought the resulting creature up to date.

Except the resulting creature is not merely hypothetical. It is a thing of the present, willing to enrapture the listener through its deliciously baleful instrumentals and with a disposition to evolve and develop its virtuous abilities instead of remaining stagnated. It is the kind of music that remains challenging enough for the listener, and yet retains all semblances of directed melody and harmony through its very own vision. It is the richness of the dark crevices in classical music and modernity, the finesse that few ever achieve, and the epitome of what heavy symphonic rock is capable of. Android Domina is, in better words, everything you've ever asked for.

Similar artists: Il Balleto di Bronzo, ELP, Goblin

Also released by Made In Japan (MJC1022)

Android Domina: Part 1. Transformer - Part 2. Desire - Part 3. Hypnosis - Part 4. Instinct - Part 5. Resurrection (10:57) / All Hallow's Eve (7:54) / Horla Rising (9:26) / Mother (7:54) / Succubus (5:34) / Bizzarro Ballo in Maschera (9:24)
[Made In Japan version substitutes "In The Cube" for "Mother"; Total Time: 48:47]

Keiko Kumagai - Hammond, synthesizers, and synth programming
Mika - voices, synthesizers, piano, organ
Akiko Takahashi - drums, percussions


Ken Ishita - bass (3)
Noboru Nakajima - bass (6)
Numero Uno - voice (2)

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-Power Metal

Origin JP

Added: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1007
Language: english


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