Arcane Roots – Left Fire

Beautifully confusing & challenging debut by Kingston-Upon-Thames trio.

Released: 11/06/2012 on Play It Again Sam

Left Fire is the debut release of genre defying trio Arcane Roots. First released earlier this year in digital format, it's now received a physical release. Note: you’ll need to pay attention whilst listening; each song on this album blends sublimely into the next with no clear definition between tracks. It's clear that a great deal of thought and effort have gone into actually crafting an Album, one that ebbs and flows, that melds one track into the next, that stands together as a complete work, not just a collection of tracks lumped together until the requisite number of songs have been recorded.

First track 'Aus Blauderen Verederen, Dus Moet Ik' is entirely instrumental, a fitting start for an album that doesn’t conform in so many ways. Despite the lack of lyrics the track tells a story, it reminds me of one of those dreams where you're running away from/towards something, the pace getting steadily faster, and Boom! before you know it you're there; the second track. 'In This Town Of Such Weather' is what I imagine you’d get if you threw The Mars Volta, Billy Talent and Rolo Tomassi in a very small room. Think exquisite Cedric style vocals on the verses, Billy Talent style anthemic choruses and lots of bouncing off walls. Best of all you won't even realise you’ve gone from the first to the second track. This theme runs throughout, each track merging seamlessly into the next - the whole album is very almost just one amazing 45 minute track.

Third track 'You Are' has all the hallmarks of being a sing along track live, tending to the softer more melodic side of the bands range. 'Rouen' starts quietly with soothing vocals and guitars lulling you into a false sense of calm, the track then jumps up and kicks you square in the face with an explosion of sound; a solid wall of guitars & drums. It seesaws through the remainder of its 6 minutes in similar fashion before ending with what can best be described as what you’d get if Fatboy Slim wrote the score to the Game Over screen of a console game - except this album has plenty of extra lives stored away yet!

'Million Dollar Que$tion' is an angry, noisy, insane 4 minute riot. It's schizophrenia in musical form, veering between intense shouty vocals and controlled, quieter sane moments, it's a beautifully crafted masterpiece. 'Habibty' gets two airings, a snippet of 32 seconds and later an extended 4 minute version, a song of two extremes with a thrashy discordant start followed by melodic vocals, the two diverse styles complement each other enchantingly.

Closing out the album are acoustic versions of 'You Are' and 'Rouen'. The songs maintain the great energy they showed in their original format and guest vocals are lent to the latter by the talented Emily Denton, the raw emotion in this rendering of the song is staggering.

In summary this album will challenge conceptions, a juxtaposition between diverse musical concepts pulled off in fine style.

Turn On: You Are, Rouen, Million Dollar Que$tion

Turn Off: None

UnderSong Rating
8.5/10 ★★★★★★★★½☆