Re-visit a specially featured re-release from Projekt: Wicked Middle-Eastern trance percussion and loop structures with wordless voice callings all rising up like writhing serpents from the ether of a lost time, intertwined with deep textures into haunting results. Any fans of Peter Gabriel's Passion soundtrack and Steve's tribal trance releases will appreciate this release.
From the Projekt site:
Arabian deserts: Magic, mysticism and the serpent's dance. On their sixth full-length release, Sweden's Arcana leaves behind ancient Western ruins and cathedrals for Arabian deserts filled with magic and mysticism. The sound of the Middle East flows through this amazing album; Armenian duduk, dulcimer, Egyptian finger cymbals, timpani and cabasa are just part of the musical arsenal on LE SERPENT ROUGE, taking Arcana to a higher dimension, exploring new melodies and realms. This is Arcana as you have never heard them before!
With their lush blend of spirituality and earthly emotions, Arcana has always been compared to Dead Can Dance. At Arcana's heart is Peter Bjärgö who started over 10 years ago making music that captivated the ambient / neoclassical scene. The traditional sound with strings, bells and timpani, the angelic female tunes, Peter's dark voice and the emotions behind the music have made Arcana one of the leading bands within this genre.
Now Peter boldly ventures into the hot Arabian desert, breathing life from the baking sun and the serpent's dance. LE SERPENT ROUGE envelops the listener in a powerful rhythmic sensuality; one feels the sands of the desert slowly begin to swirl, twilight falls across the dunes and in the distance perhaps a lonely nomad's fire burns . . . just beyond its reach, one can make out the subtle movements of a great red serpent . . . edging ever closer . . .
Projekt is proud to bring Arcana's music to a wide American audience via the release of LE SERPENT ROUGE. Arcana's albums on Sweden's Cold Meat Industry label have developed a loyal underground following for the band here in America.
A review from Michael Casano, Virus:
Medieval and Middle Eastern soundscapes permeate LE SERPENT ROUGE, Arcana's sixth full-length CD.
Peter Bjärgö started Arcana in 1993 to explore his fascination with medieval music. His newest release, LE SERPENT ROUGE, is an impressive CD that combines electronic ambience, choir (Stefan Eriksson, Ann-Mari Thim, Cecilia Bjärgö), and Middle Eastern rhythms (in addition to vocals, Eriksson also plays percussion).
Peter Bjärgö's musical talent is profound, as he performs on many instruments, contributes vocals, and handles programming and sampling duties, as well as recording, mixing, and mastering. Instruments such as the Armenian duduk, the dulcimer, Egyptian finger cymbals, and ceremonial cymbals, as well as other instruments, provide the album with a seductive and mysterious quality. The songs build up slowly and subtly, so they have a seeming repetitive nature.
The CD has a textural trancelike ambience, with tracks such as "Le Serpent Rouge" "Amber," and "Serpents Dance" leading the way. As this review represents the European release, the CD was also released in the U.S. on the Projekt label, and definitely fits in well with the Projekt roster. Rating: 8 out of 10.
A review from Jack Shear, Liar Society:
In my estimation, Arcana is the only worthy successor to Dead Can Dance. Both groups create music that draws on older traditions, yet seems otherworldly; both utilize the sounds of forgotten instruments and evocative male and female vocals. If this comparison holds true, then LE SERPENT ROUGE is certainly Arcana's answer to The Serpent's Egg: on this album Arcana have made a move away from the neo-classical Dark Ages to a sound more informed by the music of the Middle East. Exotic rhythms pound and jangle while ominous synths simmer in the background. Of course, Arcana is not simply a poor man's Dead Can Dance; the group has always been more inclined to craft soundscapes than songs and the vocals rarely take center stage. The atmosphere of Arcana's recordings has always been a bit cold and distant, almost as if they defy you to glimpse into their world. LE SERPENT ROUGE may not be inviting, but it is stoically beautiful.