“Bellatrix” is the latest, experimental, rock, electronica, progressive album by Arcachata, released in 10th April, 2022.
“Bellatrix” is a complete LP set, including 14 songs. It is Arcachata’s most mature work to this day. It is only available at Bandcamp for listening and for digital download purchase.
Can Arcachata expand his own art-universe? Can he be more experimental without being repetitive? Let’s take the time and go on this musical journey to find out and discover the songs together.
Track 1, 2021 Seasons: atypically, Arcachata begins the album with the longest track. Although we hear his signature synth brass melodies, some dissonant guitar chords are introduced as new, taking the leading part to the heavy progressive rock rundowns which are counterpointed with classic piano tunes. There is a balance game in between the fast and slow parts and Arcachata’s musical experience and development are the keys to have the segments blended into this thought-wandering piece. The heavy outro is good refreshment at the end.
Track 2, Stellar Lifetimes: the long arpeggio based intro morphs into a quasi-Kraftwerk sound, just to welcome back the familiar guitar sound from the previous song a bit and later changing the whole concept into the sound of a computer game from the ‘80s. Does this minimal-electro work? Yes, because it remains in the realm where it needs to.
Track 3, A Holiday Somewhere Else: is the song in which Arcachata introduces a more analogue sound with an acoustic guitar and drums. Some simple chords to express a certain emotional state: a good relax after the previous runs; a sudden release chord at the end can do wonders.
Track 4, The Doll Incidentals: A Slippery Slope: it is well-known that Arcachata plays the piano well. Now in this song he utilizes his skills on it the most, easy-flowing notes backed by a bit faded drumkit and digital guitar riffs. The cacophony works due to the well-thought counter-harmonies.
Track 5, Alhulumuqahron: is the direct continuation of the previous song and way more experimental. The signature synth-bass balances on the edge on the listeners’ patience, luckily a lower-mixed, more interesting harmony adds a good extra layer. The second half is once again with the same digital guitar riff we heard earlier. The pulsation sounds like a decrescendo however a less on the nose deep bass takes the prime.
Track 6, A Holiday Somewhere Else (reprise): is a better version of the short third track, not only the mix sounds greater but more action with the guitars and the supporting rhythm section. The common chord progression makes the song more relatable and somewhat familiar.
Track 7, Dying Thoughts: it is a free jazz improvisation with mostly relying on the piano.
Track 8, Blaupuppe: is an ambient space electro with some minimal digital noise and guitar riffs. The arpeggio has an interesting scale.
Track 9, Presagios: a very short skit in the soundscape of early Depeche Mode.
Track 10, Bellatrix: can the album namesake song give the uniqueness Arcachata’s fans have been waiting for? The answer is: partly: the arpeggios and space synths go beyond vapor yet not fully live up to what we got used to. Yet, the piano play is sharp and clean, the counterbalancing alt-pop drums and riffs are leading the song and keep the interest up. “Bellatrix” is once again a song in which the second half is much stronger and interesting. The melodies played in the very end are worth waiting for.
Track 11, Stemming From Hummed: sounds like a muzzled hardcore-rave routine, definitely challenging the ears.
Track 12, Jefe de condestables Tsewang Paljor, parte 1: Ascenso y muerte: a stylish experimental piece telling the story of a life passing by and what comes after. There are tempo changes making the song a bit uneven; on the other hand, the chords and musical ideas are interesting to pay attention and listen to.
Track 13, Jefe de condestables Tsewang Paljor, parte 2: Fiesta en Leh: is the song closest to early King Crimson with its integrated and layered fusion prog-rock and electronica. Easily the best song in this album; it makes one wonder how it would sound in live. If there is one song to listen from this “Bellatrix” album this should be it.
Track 14, Quick Ride: we get a large showcase from the album and Arcachata’s previous songs. This ambient rock, piano, alt-pop, fusion, prog-rock piece is a perfect B side in a two single SP. Probably among the very few songs of Arcachata that would sound well in niche radios. The Jean-Michel Jarre sounds, the trademark “trumpet” and progressive up-drumming combined with the heavy bass line and digital vocalization create a special, very vivid sound. This song would be great to hear in live.
Ultimately, “Bellatrix” is a promising, partially new direction for Arcachata. It is a brave album with decent songs, mostly for fans of the niche, and a few songs from the album should be aired and give a second life as a soundtrack, too.
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