Wednesday, 17th October 2018. 12:03:05am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Visionaire- Within the Arcanum Hall


Artist: Visionaire
CD Title: Within the Arcanum Hall
Label: Millennial Sun
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 9/20/04

With poetic lyrics and a blend of goth rock and goth metal, Visionaire's Within the Arcanum Hall showcases the strong songwriting skills of sole member James Allin. The production and performances are, on occasion, a bit stiff or slightly sloppy, but generally quite strong for a self-producing solo artist working with a variety of instrumentation. Allin's vocals are sometimes reminiscent of The Prophetess's Mark Hawks, but at other times reach black metal growls recalling The Nefilim-era Carl McCoy.

The album's overall sound ranges from tracks with a slight goth metal leaning to moody goth rock to more synth-oriented numbers like the extremely beautiful "Deep Worlds". "Entwined Beneath the Portal Star" is, perhaps, the most unusual specimen in the setlist, a lush new wave-ish electronic-based track that is somewhat superficially comparable to Xymox. "Fragmented" is another noteworthy track, a fairly cool goth rock number with plodding distorted guitar riffing and interesting electronic accents during its chorus. Three instrumentals round out the set, ranging from the short mood piece "Visionaire Oath" to the beautiful piano of the disc's title track, "Arcanum Hall".

As a whole, Visionaire's Within the Arcanum Hall is a fairly good set from the great opening ballad "Silhouette of Mind" to its 10+ minute epic finale "Ascension Passage". It's not always particularly noteworthy or original, but it's well written and fairly consistent with good instrumental performances and exceptionally strong vocals. Fans of moody, intelligent goth rock with metal flourishes will likely find Within the Arcanum Hall both enjoyable and worthwhile.

 

Visionaire website: www.cerebralnoize.com/visionaire/

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