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Arcana – Letters from a Lost Soul – Act I – The World One Forms

Letters from a Lost Soul – Act I – The World One Forms
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 October 2020, 6:51 AM

ARCANA brings you a myriad of sounds from battering Prog Rock to delicate Pop hooks, delivering you experiences that always inspire. “With a narrative spanning across multiple albums, ARCANA blends Sci-Fi, mythology, and a study of human action in the face of adversity. Born from the mind of Calgary-based musician Rogan McAndrews, ARCANA follows the story of a character named Damian as he attempts to mend his life and relationship with his wife Hope and daughter Cassidy in the wake of tragedy. Beginning with the upcoming debut EP “Letters from A Lost Soul – Act I: The World One Forms”, is a concept record that explores a love story expressed through letters from Damian to his wife and child, but also give a glimpse into his anxieties and nightmares.” The album contains four tracks.

“Letters from a Lost Soul” leads off the album. It’s a one-minute mood setting instrumental, with hopeful and joyous tones. “Wings” picks up where it ends, opening with the steady thumps of bass guitar and lead guitar harmonics. It starts to form a charming melody in the lead guitars, with rhythm guitars, bass, and drums holding down the bottom line. Some shifting meters prove Rogan is a thoughtful songwriter. The sound continues to expand, then drops to just some clean guitars for a spell. “Tailwind” opens with female vocals and a little Proggy groove. I like the attention paid to the sweet little melody here. Harsh male vocals then come into play, juxtaposed with the keyboard melodies in an odd fashion.

“Octosun Wings (Reprised)” closes the album, opening with spoken words regarding the weeks of wildfires that raged in the Western part of the U.S. Rogan sings with passion here, and the delicate melodies are easy on the ears. Dual harmonic vocals begin to expand the sound here. Heavy use of synths occupy the center section of the song, then come the heavy guitar strikes, and harsh vocals of frustration. From there, some Progressive elements can be heard, in an instrumental passage that is done with strong melodies. The song seems to suffer from a lack of a core identity, though I do appreciate the experimentation here.

It’s hard to judge an album with basically just three tracks, but Rogan is just missing some elements here. I have to applaud the gentleman for his first major release as I know how hard that can be to do. But the three-tracks really don’t seem connected much at all, and while I love Progressive Rock/Metal, he has to push himself more in the songwriting arena. Just when you think he is onto a great melody line, he heads a different direction. The final track really lacked an overall direction but there is potential here for sure. I will wait for his next album to see how he has grown as a songwriter, but for me, this first release was just mediocre.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Letters from a Lost Soul
2. Wings
3. Tailwind
4. Octosun Wings (Reprised)
Rogan McAndrews – Composer, Co-producer, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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