I love versatility and contrasts in music. I also like when ethnicity becomes a part of the equation.
Some are able to create wonders in this field. Take for example a band like Orphaned Land.
Others again still have some way to go before the formula is in place. Arkan from Paris is one of those bands.
Although sporting really good ideas and the right spirit, plus a great production by Fredrik Nordström (In Flames/Dimmu Borgir), there's something about the vocal arrangements and the sheer longevity of the album that holds my enthusiasm back.
The French outfit is heading down an interesting path, there's no doubt about it. Modern meets ancient, female fragility meets male brutality, the Orient meets the Western world and all that is well, but there's still a class difference from the aforementioned combo from Israel to this.
The best song off the album? Curiosly enough the mellow tune Call From Within.
A band to watch - but not quite premier league yet.