ALBUM: Plastic Terror
LABEL: Decadance Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Artica come from Rome, and some of their best work highlights their Italian roots. The brooding romance of "Aggressione" and "Roma Brucia," especially, just wouldn't have the same intensity in any other language. Even the less regionally distinct material on this album, though, is really solid gothic rock, with a stronger emphasis on musicianship than we've seen much in recent years. Most gothic bands are content letting the guitars provide some extra background, letting the singer do most of the work, but Artica relies on the instrument enough to have two guitarists; Gabriele Serafini plays lead, with lead singer Alberto Casti pulling double-duty as rhythm guitarist. This gives things more of a progressive metal vibe than a lot of goth fans might be used to; "Sacrificium" and "Nemesi," especially, are heavy and technical enough to be considered bona fide goth/metal crossovers, and the Casti's guttural growls on album opener "Black Eyes" is bound to give the band extra credibility to curious metal fans. Title track "Plastic Terror," on the other hand, is pure goth, with all the drama and majesty of The Mission at their best, thanks to the dual guitars, not to mention keyboardist Massimiliano Bonavita's orchestral arrangements. Old school fans who miss the unabashed rock 'n' roll influences and showiness of the early British goth bands ought to dig this one a great deal.
Visit Artica at www.articaweb.it.
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