Aranis – Made In Belgium II (2014)
Second installment of a said trilogy by exquisite Belgian band who have quite the adventurous history already. With releases showing original material of their own exploring light and dark chamber music, to turn on a dime RIO fit for a king, these ultra-superior musicians took on a voyage of covers by well-deserved (not always famous) fellow Belgian composers and here we are on Volume II. Another supreme platter this time bringing in not only new rules but also unequal artists like Peter Vermeersch (as a composer choice) and Pierre Vervloesem on guitar (tracks 10 and 12) both of X-Legged Sally and Flat Earth Society.
With a supreme beginning the initial cover is by Peter Vermeersch which knocks your socks off, all turn-on-a dime, dramatic, full-tilt, with dizzy changes and a pocketful of fantastic! The entire disc takes you on a grand ride with nary a second of void. Each composition is killer. Icing on the cake is track 10 (by composer Walter Hus – who was on recording Maximalist!) with the unbridled unequaled Pierre Vervloesem. Following that the third “Intermezzo” (Chevalier) then another tremendous song (“Cell “ by Kurt Bude) with Vervloesem on guitar. A slow burner with epic proportions. Last cut is gorgeous (by one of the female composers – Aurelle Dorzee from “Aurella”). What a beautiful dreamy way to end this eargasmic and pleasantly exhausting (mentally) set of works once again, exclusively from Belgium.
Part two of this “Made In Belgium” series has another couple of new things. The addition of female composers (V and XIII) plus solo piano intermezzos (by Pierre Chevalier). Everything is even more perfect than their first CD. This easily makes my best 2014 list, hands down. Amazing and most highly recommended
Reviewed by Lee Henderson – 10/17/2014
I Skip XX1
III Intermezzo I
IV Tolles Pferd
VII Intermezzo II
VIII Boki II
X La Vague
XI Intermezzo III
XII Cell Stress