Band: Arcade Messiah
Label: Independent Release (2014)
While researching this release from KingBathMat founder, John Bassett I kept seeing it referred to as Post-Rock, a term I’m not terribly fond off. As a result of seeing that description I approached this release with some caution and perhaps even a little concern. And yet…from the opening barrage of guitar notes on “Sun Exile” [5:35] I was pleasantly surprised at the musical adventurousness on display. Not at all like his other musical efforts, Arcade Messiah consists of seven compositions or forty-two minutes of music: music that is all instrumental, electric-guitar centric and at times just a little heavy. Unlike so many of those “other” guitarist solo albums however where the tunes tend to be straight-forward 4/4 rock songs embellished with a boat-load of solos, the music here takes a very different approach, one that will clearly appeal to fans of Bassett’s other work as well prog fans in general. Half of these compositions are seven-minutes or longer but every one of them consists of a powerful musical foundation, filled with intensity and dexterity. The rhythm track is many times saturated with bass, drums, keyboards and other sounds providing a very dramatic background for the guitar lines to languidly flow on top of. Changes in time and tempo are ever-present as each musical selection builds in intensity and sonic density. Arpeggios and repeated thematic lines are everywhere sometimes building into a cacophonous state creating layers of tension only to find release at the songs end. It’s quite breathtaking. As I say, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as I drove in the car listening to Arcade Messiah I found it to be the perfect music for the mood I was in. So of course, in the end I quite liked it.