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Arc Angel/Cannata: Tamorok

Many may remember Jeff Cannata as the former member of such groups as Jasper Wrath, Arc Angel, and Cannata, all of who recorded albums in the late 70's and early 80's, mixing prog and AOR quite successfully yet never really achieving fame. Cannata has written some newer material here, as well as re-recorded a few songs from the previous bands mentioned, for a surprisingly symphonic take on traditional AOR.

There is a huge keyboard sound on most of these 14 songs, and especially on the epic title track "Tamorok." Cannata's vocals are quite good, somewhat like Lou Gramm from Foreigner, and his melodic lines weave a telling story amidst the huge prog rock sounds on this track. "Big Life" is a catchy pop number left over from the Jasper Wrath days, and a tune that never really fit in with that bands more traditional prog sound. The combination of complex musicianship, symphonic arrangements, and vocal hooks really gels on "Prisoner in The Holy Land", one of the strongest songs on the CD. As on many of the tunes, Cannata handles most of the instruments, but is augmented here by guitarist Robert Gianotti, who lays down a fluid rock solo. Some of the songs might remind you of 80's metal/prog outfit Giuffria, especially "Watching the World", with big keyboards, melodic vocals, and distorted, whammy bar guitar theatrics. A similar formula can be heard on the remake of the Arc Angel staple "Stars", a tune that could have been a hit back in the early 80's had the record company backed the band. "Fortune Teller", from an earlier Cannata album, features lots of multi-tracked vocals, for an almost 80's Yes sound, and "Kings of Nations" is a symphonic delight with crunchy guitars from Mark Pronto and loads of keyboards courtesy of Cannata.

Sure, there are a few somehat sappy soft ballads here, like "Stay", and the overly sweet "When It's Love", but even these are well done and feature slick instrumentation. The CD overall has really strong production values, and the packaging is quite impressive. Jeff Cannata proves to be a multi-faceted musician, handling the bulk of the keyboards, rhythm guitars, all the drums, and lead vocals. Perhaps more than anything, his singing is the most impressive here, and matched with his penchant for writing catchy symphonic songs makes this an enjoyable release.

Added: January 4th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Arc Angel/Cannata Website
Hits: 3897
Language: english

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