Ars Nova - Lacrimaria

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Made In Japan
Catalog Number: MJC 1023
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:59:00

If knowing that Djam Karet's Ascension was a limited edition album sent me into a temporary fit of distress, knowing that there are only three hundred copies of Ars Nova's Lacrimaria in existence is sending me into a veritable gush of tears. A quick journey through the Japanese band's career, the album is such a splendorous explosion of heavy symphonic rock immersed in classical music harmony and class that those who have it in their hands should indeed be the envy of the rest of the world. Another thing: they probably know that by now.

Starting out with the sweetly misleading title track, an excerpt from Friedrich Burgmüller's "Ave Maria," the album does not take more than a minute and a half to show its true colors in the wonderful and enthralling darkness that "The Resurgence Of Fata Morgana" signifies. A new version of the original two "Fata Morgana" chapters found in the band's debut album, it soars to majestic heights rarely achieved through a highly developed sense of melody and emotional timing that drives the listener into a spiraling and wide-eyed fascination with an inherent darkness that evolves like a mad tempest. The levels of intensity and musicianship are indeed so exhilarating that the listener is left breathless and has but precious seconds to recoup one's strength before "Isis" doubles the score.

Unfortunately for the vulnerable mind, Lacrimaria does not let up for a second, forging ahead with a determined vision that draws from the most cruelly addictive pleasures of the baroque, classical, and romantic periods and adorns them with futuristic electronic drums, atmospheres of intimidating wickedness, and a paradoxical pain of melancholy that is to be devoured like the forbidden fruit. "Mother" is a prime example of this, growing slowly into an electric behemoth that consumes the listener's psyche and slowly caresses the dark crevices of one's mind in enticing waves of sonically dark passion. The album's brand new track, "Pairi-Daeza," hovers into similar territory, passing through elaborate variations of what initially sounds like a forebodingly threatening theme and reaching twice a moment of fortissimo strength that resounds like the clash of brutal medieval armies.

The sinister strength of Lacrimaria, however, does not stem from brutality or lack of finesse. Quite the contrary, actually. It is the dark beauty of aural composition and finesse that Keiko Kumagai conveys onto her instrumentals, as well as their impossibly absorbing dynamism and sense of emotionally climaxing evolution, that makes this record the immediate pleasure of passion that it is. Playing with a sense of characterization, uniqueness, and evolution has made this Japanese trio one of the most exciting acts to hit the progressive rock scene in recent years, and Lacrimaria, without a doubt, stands as undeniable proof of that.

Similar artists: Il Balleto di Bronzo, Gerard

Lacrimaria (1:33) / Resurgence of Fata Morgana (10:14) / Isis (4:41) / Mother (7:56) / Ainsel (5:24) / Pairi-Daeza (10:11)

Keiko Kumagai - synthesizers, organ, computer programming
Mika Nakajima - vocals, synthesizers
Akiko Takahashi - drums

Other musicians:

Kyoko Kamasawa - bass
Reina - vocals
Numero Uno - vocals

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: 1667
Language: english


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