ATARAXIA: ARCANA ECO
CD + Book: Ark Records 004-OBS001 [2005]


Disc 1:
Pressbook

Disc 2:
Cobalt
Astimelusa
Mirsilo
Fire In The Wood
Nossa Senhora dos Anjos
De Pourpre et d'Argent
The Island Of Doctor Moreau

Ataraxia continue to unfold their panoply of folk tableaus with ever an aesthetic eye and no less in this release, "Arcana Eco", which is a voluminous and luxurious book with seven newly recorded tracks, four exclusively released, on the disc that comes with Arcana Eco. While this reviewer was not privy to the book itself, if the promo pack that arrived was anything to go by, it was as professional as any digipak with an extra disc featuring full flash navigation and pages sampled from the book in PDF format, lots of pages.

The book is divided into six main chapters about which satellites preface, discography, history and a lengthy and personal interview including lyrics. All pages are boutiques of art in print with subtle halftones, full colour photographic inserts generously flourish the book. From personal writings and poetic intimations by the members of Ataraxia this manual on these modern minstrels unfolds a breadth of informative reading on the band. The six main chapters are based on the symbols of stone, water, passages, dream, contemplation, and light, attributes that not only thematically are to be found in the select tracks but in all matters Ataraxia. Well written, eruditely poetic, esoterically so, the book is ripe with ornate enjoyment for the lovers of Ataraxia's music.

While only four of the seven tracks on the "Arcana Eco" discs are exclusively new, all are fresh recordings from Ataraxia, with the other three being reinterpretations of earlier recordings. Like the chapters of the book that symbolizes their themes so too do these seven songs capture the cross section, kaleidoscope of stylistic capillaries veining the body of Ataraxia. 'Cobalt' sways a dolorous décor, lush guitars and operatic voices sky evanescent strands of trailing tendrils of cloud. A stronger focus on the earthly spiritual is revisited in the temple, 'Astimelusa' wherein ode to Aphrodite echoes with bells of ceremony. The second exclusive track, 'Mirsolo' gyrates tribal influence and gypsy guitar before the lumbering shadows of darkwave choruses. Gypsy flamenco orates the meter, rhythm and melody of 'Fire in the Wood', a cinder of swirling eastern ritual. A new studio version of 'Nossa Senhora dos Anjos' drifts planes betwixt suffering and beauty, with the "baroque divertissement version" of 'De Pourpre et d'Argent' reclining in formal parlour performance. The last and exclusively new track is the surreal haunt of 'The Island of Docteur Moreau' (sic), a disturbed umbilicus of the island‚s sounds of nature and the unnatural ululations that well deep from within the genetic playground of author, Wells' antagonist.

NYR

[Ataraxia] / [Ark Records]

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