Arachnes - A New Day
Scarlet Records
Melodic Power Metal
12 songs (48'43")
Release year: 2011
Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Erik

Ever get the feeling that you're listening to something that could have been so much better? Of course you have, that's the "low" part of the highs and lows that come with being a fan of a certain band. Just ask any (former) fans of Queensryche -- they've had to put up with nothing but disappointment for over 20 years now. On occasion, when a new band presents itself, you get the impression that with a few releases under their belt, they could be great. The talent is present, they have a certain charisma, and the promise of better things seems to be lurking just around the bend.

So here we are, on the sixth studio album from Italian power metallers Arachnes, and how has their future progressed? Well, it hasn't exactly been a failure, but on the other hand, they are not really a household name, either. Those fans expecting the big breakthrough . . . this isn't it. Not to say it's necessarily a bad album, as there is plenty to enjoy here. The Caruso brothers (Enzo - vocals; Frank - guitars) deliver a technical and talented platter of progressive-tinged melodies as per usual, with extremely clean production, soaring vocals, and searing guitarwork.

The progressive influences on A New Day are especially noticeable in the first two tracks I Know The Darkness and Big Hearth. What's also noticeable is that Enzo's rather powerful voice is regrettably mixed rather low. Regardless, the emphasis here is on technical expertise over memorable choruses and overall "catchiness". Rather than creating a casual listen, Arachnes delves deep into neoclassical intricacies and subtle nuances on their albums. I Know The Darkness begins with a clean guitar intro, and from there you really have to concentrate to follow where they are going. Big Hearth starts with a good heavy crunch, but their choruses segue into solo guitar and keyboard leads after only one or two lines. Again, an approach that requires all of your attention.

The fourth track, Into The Fog, rolls out some uptempo power metal, and it is well-performed on the guitar front. A big power ballad is included with the oddly-titled My Face Is Hard, which isn't half bad for such an otherwise progressive group. Running In An Old Town features another clean-toned intro paving the way for an exceptionally heavy verse riffing. Yet, the album seems what some would call "back-heavy", as the better songs don't seem to begin until Take Your Life, with a great chorus and new sense of melody. Finally! Skipping the following forgettable interlude Parallel Worlds, the next track The Reason Of The Things brings more uptempo power metal chorusing and soloing, and Your Death, while being an instrumental, is ironically enough the best song on the album. Where was this hiding the whole time? Closing out is Fireball, a decent Deep Purple cover.

On the whole, A New Day is a competent and enjoyable album. If you appreciate a high level of technical skill and some good power/progressive riffage and soloing, you'll probably find a good deal to like here. However, this seems to be hardly the extent of the skill that Arachnes has demonstrated intermittently. While most of the album isn't filler, you get the sense that this group of musicians should be producing music on the level of Anubis Gate or Seventh Wonder, and so far they have not, at least not on accessibility level. Pick this one up if you are an Arachnes fan or if you have run out of decent European neoclassical metal.

Killing Songs :
Your Death, The Reason Of The Things, Big Hearth, Take Your Life, Running In An Old Town
Erik quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Arachnes that we have reviewed:
Arachnes - Apocalypse reviewed by Mike and quoted 80 / 100
Arachnes - Parallel Worlds reviewed by Chris and quoted 88 / 100
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