Everyone can surely name at least one album based on World War II. Or mythology. Or political issues… but albums based on novels? I guess that many will probably think of Kamelot’s “Epica” and “The Black Halo”, which are both inspired by Goethe’s “Faust”, but this album we’re talking about today, ladies and gentlemen, is something quite unique.
Postcards from Arkham is a project by Marek “Frodys” Pytlik based on H. P. Lovecraft’s horror fiction and this project is probably one of the best ideas ever. Yes, I like what the average young adult would call “old, dusty and boring books”, thereof horror and science fiction the most. Oh, you have no clue what I’m talking about and don’t know who Lovecraft was? Provided you don’t entertain the opinion that reading literature from the 1920s seems quite a stretch, please go and check out some of his stories and thank me later.
The second release by Postcards from Arkham called Aeons, for that matter, also incorporates parts of stories by E. A. Poe and H. Murakami. Sadly, a fabulous lyrical concept isn’t enough to make an album as phenomenal as the literature that serves as foundation and that’s pretty much the problem with Aeons … and not only that.
In fact, there’s nothing particularly wrong with this album. The music you do get to hear – loads of piano/keys and guitar melodies with an overall cinematic approach – actually sounds very pleasing. It’s the music you don’t get to hear that makes Aeons so unsatisfactory. I know, that doesn’t sound very logical, so let me explain further.
While listening to this record, I very often got the impression that many great ideas – a killer riff, a beautiful melody, an awesome build-up – don’t really result into anything. Normally, a song is consisting of one or several basic melodies or ideas that serve as foundation for the rest of the song. Do you know what I really miss on this album? Freaking verses. Bridges. CHORUSES. I’m all for twists and turns and unexpected song structures, but even the most unusual song pattern contains these necessary elements.
Secondly, some tracks don’t make any sense at all. I first didn’t believe that “Le Pays Des Merveilles” is basically just the same piano part played over and over again. I mean, why? And even worse, why would someone write a whole song without any vocals, but put some spoken words in French on top that barely anyone will understand? I don’t know about you, but people usually listen to music because of well-crafted music, and not somebody talking or very odd compositions of unmatched ideas.
It’s not easy to write a critical review of an album that actually contains some kick-ass parts that haven’t been finalized and of one with a fascinating concept. And all this is so frustrating, because every time I’m giving Aeons another listen, I vainly try to spot where all the actual music is hidden. A song starts, another part begins, a solo kicks in and everything’s over way too soon. Maybe I don’t get the magic of this record, but I really tried and I failed.
If you like great cinematic progressive music, don’t give this album a listen. There are way better records out there – check out Dreamgrave, The Great Discord, New Keepers Of The Water Towers etc. and forget about Postcards From Arkham.
01. Imagination Filled Balloon
02. Aeon Echoes
03. Thousand Years For Us
06. Le Pays des Merveilles
07. Woods Of Liberation
08. One World Is Not Enough
Playing time: 34:38
Release date: 30th September, 2015
Label: MetalGate Records