Band: The Arc Light Sessions
CD Title: Perchance to Dream
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Itís been many years since we last heard from John Alarcon through his then musical project called Synthology. Over that time much has changed including the band name going forward. Now recording under the name The Arc Light Sessions, Montreal based Alarcon has surrounded himself with some very talented and capable performers but as before the music revolves around Alarconís grand symphonic keyboards. He takes his inspiration from the Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson school of progressive rock and isnít afraid to show it. Perchance to Dream was released at the tail-end of 2015 and features just over one-hour of music split over thirteen different compositions all thematically linked. I must admit the immediate vibe I got putting on the disc was to be taken back to the early recordings of Rick Wakemanís English Rock Ensemble, both in terms of compositional approach and keyboard sounds. These are the types of songs that revolve around melody, whether vocals are included or not, they flow smoothly even as they change time and tempo. Songs tend to be linked together displaying a more panoramic approach to the musical presentation. Interestingly musical change-ups abound and the symphonic nature of the music is enhanced by the complex keyboard arrangements. All the right keyboard sounds are in the right place and while there are moments where the vocals become somewhat melodramatic if you are willing to look past the delivery you come away with a very satisfying listen. Musically this is great stuff and I understand a change in vocalist has already occurred so I think that bodes well for future releases. Perchance to Dream is a fine example of modern symphonic Progressive Rock and I recommend fans of the genre check out The Arc Light Sessions to find out for themselves. Welcome back John Alarcon.