(2008 - self release - Iran)
This band has Salim Ghazi Saeedi at the helm and as some of you have read my review on his solo “Iconophobic”, this is a bit similar but not quite. This takes on a broad fusion of classical, electronic, metal, prog rock and avant garde that I like just as much as I liked his solo. I can truly say I own nothing just like this in my huge collection of music from everywhere. I love the combinations and pure creativity Salim seems to easily produce. This is Arashk’s 3rd release.
The CD has a short story in the notes about each song and I’ll let the folks who buy this enjoy that part. The music begins like Stravinsky with haunting classical music. The piano leads it out to a more Carl Orff atmosphere. It’s the beginning of great things. You’ll be shocked by the next song as it begins as a highly charged speed metal composition that rapidly brings in strings and various motifs that would have fans of Pierre Vervloesem happy. Each song just keeps moving to other places and surprises the listener. Try and imagine equal parts speed metal, classical, jazz, progressive rock, and the great RIO of X-Legged Sally. Add some Fripp inspired guitar in places, and you have at least an idea of the genre this gets into. It’s pretty close to having it’s own genre. At times you have beautiful string and wind synthesizer in the sound track mode, giving way to shred and speed metal prog, then off to neo classical music. This compares to the bands The Flue and Mecano ( the same bands I compared Salim’s solo CD to ) in many places as well. That industrial classical gothic prog that sounds so good to these ears.
On first listen, you will never guess where the band is going from minute to minute. It certainly does not belong in the heavy metal category, but only uses some ingredients of the metal I have described in places. Those who know X-Legged Sally and the members work, will know exactly what I am referring to with this fusion of styles. And the great thing that Arashk have going for them are the odd time signatures that they are more familiar with than most Western folks are exposed to on any large basis. It makes for some highly technical sounding music. A good deal of this music is hyper and might be great for running music (but sure would be a shame to listen to this on Ipod with crappy MP3 sound quality, so nix that idea). I especially love song six (“Naught been I Thou”) as it brings in the folk dance styles with hand claps, great percussion, violin samples, and moves all over the place. Once again, I am super pleased to have this CD in my collection. For only 35 minutes, this recording packs a punch and makes you feel like you got an hours worth of magical music. You will be impressed. So to wrap it up, lets try and describe this CD in one sentence. It’s a combination of Pierre Vervloesem/X-Legged Sally/Sleepytime Gorilla Museum gone instrumental/Stravinsky/Mecano in their neo classical industrial era/ a brush stroke of middle eastern and Univers Zero backing them all up. That should do it *s* HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson - August 20, 2011