ARABS IN ASPIC
The Norwegian proggers debut live album recorded at the Trondheim club.
The 11-minute Sydenes Magi begins with wispy Mellotron chords redolent of King Crimson’s Starless, but its regular mid-paced tread soon morphs into a heavy Sabbath-like passage. It’s not often that one sees “for fans of Uriah Heep” in contemporary press material, but Arabs In Aspic also favour high vocal harmonies, and when Stig A Kvam-Jørgensen’s Hammond organ joins in with their big twisting riffs, it gives considerable heft to the sound. Add to that Jostein Smeby’s psych/metal guitar style and Alessandro Elide on clattering percussion, and
AIA combine familiar elements into an original mix. A number of their songs are of similar length and as this live set continues, one can see a pattern. AIA allow their tracks to unfold gradually, sometimes achieving a near-Floydian grandeur. Pictures In A Dream finds them exploring melody, with delicate guitar arpeggios and a synth around the vocal lines, but they inevitably culminate in a collective power surge. On the relatively concise Mørket 2, intricate guitar and organ lead into the big finale while Silver Storm smoulders, builds momentum and finally climaxes with a spectacular wah-wah guitar wig-out.