Album: Pictures In A Dream
Label: Black Widow Records
Review: Diego Camargo
Thoughts: Now, it’s not every day that you come across a release like Arabs In Aspic’s Pictures In A Dream (2013)!
I confess that I haven’t really paid attention to this Norwegian band till now, but as they say, better late than never!
Released by the Italian label (and Progshine’s partner Black Widow) Records last year Pictures In A Dream (2013) is the fourth album of the band and a treaty of unexpected things.
Arabs In Aspic is a band that could very well released this album in 1971 and it would perfectly fit into the musical context of that period.
Pictures In A Dream (2013) manages to achieve a mix of different influences like Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull in the same track and makes it work!
Perfect examples of what I mentioned are ‘Let Us Pray’ with its Jethro Tull intro and the splendid ‘You Are Blind’ (with its bits of Led Zeppelin).
After an instrumental atmospheric track (‘Felix’) Heavy Psych fill the speakers with ‘Hard To Find’ and with the schizophrenic ‘Difference In Time’.
Meanwhile in ‘Lifeguard@Sharkbay’ we have bizarre lyrics with a psychedelic musical background.
Maybe the fact that the band comes from Norway and not from acountry that produces high quantity of Prog bands is what gives Arabs In Aspic its unique magic, far away from the fashion going on in the modern Prog Rock.
The next two tracks from Pictures In A Dream (2013) form the Norwegian bit of the album. ‘Ta Et Steg Til Siden’ and ‘Vi Møtes Sikkert Igjen’ are at the same time something weird and a pleasure for the ears. It’s a bit different for me to listen to the Norwegian language with a Hard Blues Rock (on ‘Ta Et Steg Til Siden’) musical background. ‘Vi Møtes Sikkert Igjen’ is a robust Prog that was born with a classic feeling.
The final sequence is acoustic ‘Prevail To Fail’ with its synthesizers ‘grooming’ the song and then a pretty acoustic version of ‘Pictures In A Dream’.
Pictures In A Dream (2013) is not just a blow of fresh air in the last years releases in the Prog world, (even if it’s full of 70’s sounds), but it’s also a modern classic full of great melodic hooks.
This is definitely a must have!
The band was included in our Podcast #19 and you can listen the song 'You Are Blind' HERE.