Leon : Rarely I encounter an album that contains only three songs but still has a total duration of 42 minutes. The Norwegian group Arabs In Aspic did this with their new CD ‘Syndenes Magi’ which was recorded in their own studio. The band has changed personnel many times but it currently consists of Jostein Smeby (guitars & vocals), Stig Jørgensen (organs & vocals), Erik Paulsen (bass guitar & vocals) and Eskil Nyhus (drums).
The Norwegians play music that sounds like it’s from 1979; progressive rock where (among others) Hammond organs and a Mellotron take a leading role. Think Black Sabbath meets Pink Floyd. The album starts with the strong title song, twelve minutes of great progressive rock (emphasis on rock). If the whole album would be as good as the title track it would’ve had an even better rating but unfortunately it’s not the case. The song ‘Mörket 2’ is still pretty good, but with the ending track ‘Mörket 3’ they completely lose me, mainly because they start playing more experimental music, but that’s lost on me. Another point of criticism is the fact that they only sing in Norwegian, the songs are quite catchy at times and invite to sing along, so it’s a shame that I need to study the language before I can sing along.
All in all it’s a good album, the musicians clearly know their stuff and there isn’t much that I can say about it. I expect that fans of 70 progressive rock will like the record more than I do, if you don’t mind the Norwegian lyrics. The biggest compliment I can give the band is that the music sounds like it’s from the 70s but that it doesn’t feel old-fashioned at all. Pretty good record but not exceptionally good.