January 28, 2024

Centered around guitar wizard and main composer Plamen Uzunov, Project Arcadia has been releasing some classy progressive power metal since its inception in 2007. You can’t call them prolific, because Of Since And Other Tales is only their third full-length release since, but what cannot be denied is that quality steps up in spades in place of quantity. Plamen has changed the whole line-up since A Time Of Changes, which came out a decade ago. The new album has been recorded with Deibys Artigas on vocals, Milcho Kolev on guitars and the rhythm section of Annihilator – Rich Gray (bass) and Fabio Alessandrini (drums). So, how have five guys from Bulgaria, Venezuela, the UK and Italy managed to work and create together? Well, obviously, they are all fluent speakers of the language of music, because Of Sins And Other Tales is one monster of an album.

The first thing that makes impression is the fantastic and meaty production. The sound is very clear, yet at the same time really powerful, but not overproduced. The credit should probably go to Marko Tervonen (guitarist for Swedish bruisers The Crown), who mixed and mastered the album, but I am sure Plamen also had his word there. Rusty Cage pummels the speakers with a great rhythm and fantastic vocals by Artigas, with strong guitar melodies driving the song forward. The following Envy instantly put a big grin on my face with the Bulgarian folklore-flavored main riff and an almost thrashy tempo, before a stellar chorus stole the show completely. Amazing work! The Portrait and The Hourglass are the two progressive epics in the album, with some great emotion and dense atmosphere, reminiscent of classic Shadow Gallery. Sweet Scented Madness and To My Muse are a bit more straightforward and lighter in mood, tossing aside the thrash influence to reveal a more heavy-power metal side of Uzunov’s composing, with just a touch of melancholy.

The two closing tracks Greed and Anger again add on the heaviness and crush with clever riffs and beautiful transitions (the short acoustic solo in Greed just floored me, before another amazing solo exploded). Do I need to say anything about Gray and Alessandrini? These guys are machines, but you already knew that, since they’ve had the stamp of approval from no other than Jeff Waters.

Project Arcadia have outdone themselves on this new album and all the fans will have their deserved reward after ten years of waiting. Of Sins And Other Tales is a progressive-power metal jewel that will have place in every metal collection. It is an album that ticks all the boxes and exceeds all expectations. Now, don’t make us wait another ten years, guys.

10/10


Project Arcadia in Facebook

Of Sins And Other Tales will be out on January 30th via PA Music and can be ordered from HERE