Arcana: The Last Embrace


By Holly Day

This CD couldn’t have come across my desk at a better time. There’s something so tedious about listening to the same kind of music again and again, whether it be rock music or dance music or even polka, and when something entirely on the opposite spectrum comes my way, it just revitalizes all music for me. The Last Embrace, however, could come into my life at just any point and feel fresh and amazing and beautiful—dark and somber and gloomy instrumentals, recorded in such an echoey space that it sounds like it’s in a cathedral, punctuated by deep, Gregorian chant-like vocals that are so intense I can barely pay attention to the lyrics—I think they’re in English—the sound of the voices are so appealing.

This type of music has the tendency to totter dangerously on the precipice of becoming corny Renaissance Festival soundtrack material, but this particular endeavour never even touches that line. The instrumentation-pianos, organs, horns, bells, etc., probably all synth but very genuine sounding-are arranged and performed beautifully; there is such control in this music that even the silences sound like orchestration.

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