Arbor Ira - _Meine Träume, Vergangene..._
(Naturmacht Productions, 2010)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
Arbor Ira loosely translates from Latin as Wrath of the Tree(s), and indeed, Arbor Ira's concept is, in a nutshell, the retaliation of nature against the human race.

Signed to the relatively new and promising Naturmacht Productions, _Meine Träume, Vergangene..._ is Arbor Ira's sophomore album, and even though the band has not made its impact on the underground yet (how many great bands you know that have, really?), and albeit having still a painstaking work of consolidating and polishing their brand of metal, working through the myriad of influences, discarding their way of sounding like a patchwork of borrowed materials from other, more famous bands -- they have managed to write and record a strong, hard-hitting, exquisite album that makes an impact.

_Meine Träume, Vergangene..._ would be maybe best described by mentioning the stations of Arbor Ira's cross; each station would be another band they echo, resulting in an album that eventually resonates with familiarity, not to mention dubious originality, and yet assembled, written, arranged and executed so well, its lack of originality is often forgotten, and ultimately forgiven.

So, _Meine Träume, Vergangene..._ would be a cross-reference between Septic Flesh, Moonspell, My Dying Bride, Tiamat, some Bethlehem and the melodic school of Swedish dark/death metal, in a way. If Septic Flesh was ever to succumb to playing Moonspell goth-like metal, charged with sad, My Dying Bride-esque violin-driven melodies affiliated with Tiamat's _Wildhoney_ tunes, enveloped with German-sung, half tortured Bethlehem-like vocals and a general Gothenburg-style melodious approach, you'd be on the right road to reaching Arbor Ira's style. Catch the drift?

Assorted styles, motley moods and sonic aesthetics, a myriad of influences, each and every song on this album does not resemble its predecessor or its successor, for that matter; almost as if different bands had written each track.

What binds the tracks together is the uniform sound -- which is rich, deep and mysterious -- the guitar effect and the drums, which is not much to work with; nevertheless it is enough to lend the music a uniform facade and remind the listener it is indeed the very same band playing each and all tracks.

Fine musicianship in terms of execution, some interesting ideas here and there, some extremely shining moments and frankly, you could do a lot worse than listening to this album.

Next time though, it would be great to see this band grow a pair of balls and a backbone at that, and display its own singularity rather than working with instant, ready-made materials, which had been thought of and recorded by greater minds... and as you all surely know, there are better choices of coffee drinking than gulping the instant brands.


(article published 19/4/2011)

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