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Artnat – The Mirror Effect (Reissue)

The Mirror Effect (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 August 2022, 6:21 AM

ARTNAT is a Progressive band founded by Manuel Cardoso leader of the known Progressive band from Portugal TANTRA. Manuel Cardoso formed the band to give continuity to TANTRA`s style of Progressive music, but with a personal 21st century touch. In this new formation only Manuel Cardoso (guitars) and Gui da Luz (keyboardist) remain from TANTRA`s "Terra" CD line up. This is a reissue called “The Mirror Effect,” and contains eleven songs.

“Riding the Edge of Darkness” is the first. It’s a funky sound of dancing bass notes and weird background music. The vocals are harmonized and sung sort of robot-ish. It feels very retro as well. Harsh vocals come in for a spell, and from there, the song reaches all sorts of places. “Eternal Dance of Love” opens with a more linear and melancholy sound. The bassist provides much of the melody in this song, along with some tasty lead guitar notes. The vocals are tender and ethereal, as they should be with a song of this title. “From Chaos to Beauty” is an instrumental, with a heavy keyboard presence. Am I being lifted into outer space? The pacing picks up at the half-way mark, then it slides back again into cooler tones.

“A View from Above” is another odd listen. What kind of drugs were the band members taking to make this psychedelic music? Bass thumps away over harmonized female vocals and I picture walking through the desert after eating a few mushrooms. The colors, the sounds, all new. “The Mirror Effect” is a smooth offering of soothing bass notes under soft leads, with more odd vocals. The middle section contains an odd keyboard solo that really doesn’t follow the melody line. “The Dramatic Beauty of Life” is perhaps the seminal piece of the album. Chirping birds and baby laughter open the song, which then segues into an eerie blend of bass, guitars, and keys. The tones are smooth but also a bit tense. From there, the band almost seems to just jam with no written script. “The Complex Art of Creation” begins with some tense notes that segue into even odder sounds. The twists and turns that the song takes along the journey are both unexpected and unconventional. Towards the end, it flattens a bit with a more linear approach however.

“Finale” closes the album; a short one-minute jaunt of keyboards and orchestral arrangements. Even for a Prog head, this was a very strange album, and I am having trouble with what the band was trying to accomplish. Many of the songs had odd chord structures, weird vocals, and a psychedelic twist. The melancholy tones that ran through the album made it somewhat hard to enjoy as well.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Riding the Edge of Darkness
2. Eternal Dance of Love
3. Return to OM
4. From Chaos to Beauty
5. A View from Above
6. Cosmic Machinery
7. The Mirror Effect
8. Celebration
9. The Dramatic Beauty of Life
10. The Complex Art of Creation
11. Finale
Manuel Cardoso (MC Frodo) – Guitar and Vocals
Paulo Bretão – Bass
Sara Freitas – Vocals
João Samora – Drums
Guilherme da Luz – Synthesizers
Record Label: WormHoleDeath


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