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Go to the Arcana website  Arcana - Inner Pale Sun [Cold Meat Indutry - 2002]

My sweet innocent child
How can I explain
How I hear the nature cry
for mercy

How the greed and the power
sets the rules for you and me
Why we destroy and torture
out of greed

I wish I could give you
Something else
I wish I could give you
Something else

Arcana has just left behind a period of inactivity, mainly due to Peter Pettersson's other project Sophia, the birth of his daughter and the establishment of two new members in the band, Stefan Eriksson and Ann-Marie Thim. But some months ago the band got together again and recorded the 3" CD single Body Of Sin, a small foretaste of the new album Inner Pale Sun that is Arcana's fourth full-length album, of course on the Swedish Cold Meat Industry label.

Inner Pale Sun does not contain any surprises, but we don't want any either. For those we don't know Arcana, the music is of great beauty and can best be compared with Dead Can Dance; ethereal chanting, both male and female, with bombastic neo-classical strings and horns performed with great melancholy. If there is something like a heaven, they'll probably be playing this out there (you can actually download We Rise Above, a track from this album, from this website here, if interested). Perhaps a slight movement towards calmer songs is to be heard; Inner Pale Sun contains less aggressive and pounding drums and is also not as bombastic as it used to be. Sophia seems to be the project concentrating on that part. Other than that the production has been improved once again, crystal-clear and not one instrument loses its impact. The album has been recorded in Peter Pettersson's own studio by the way.

The album kicks off with a fantastic opener, My Cold Sea; acoustic percussion supported by heavenly choirs already take away the slightest doubt that Arcana would have changed. The second track, Lovelorn, however, shows a very calm side of the band. Warm, heavy neo-classical string sounds and Peter Petterson's own vocals, in the same style as Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry. After Icons the song We Rise Above appears, already featured on the 3" CD Body Of Sin, and not without a purpose; it is one of the best tracks on the disc. Same counts for the dramatic Innocent Child, which is of pure magnificence. The piano and strings are arranged in a way that gives me shivers down my spine, and Peter's impressive lyrics (which are perhaps referring to the birth of his own child?) only strengthen this feeling. The orchestral instrumental Song Of The Dead Sun, and the stunning Season Of Thought – with outstanding divine female vocals – build towards the end of the album, which is achieved with Closure, an emotional and fitting ending...

Not a chance that fans of Arcana will be disappointed with Inner Pale Sun. It is perhaps a bit short, and there indeed no sign of musical development, but I don't see the latter argument as a bad point. As long as I'm almost moved to tears with this music, Arcana will remain one of my favourite artists in this romantic darkwave scene. Musically seeing, Inner Pale Sun is perhaps Arcana's best album or at least the most mature so far. The album has been released in a normal jewel case version and in a box, which contains a poster.

Picture by Bjargo

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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