Wednesday 27 May 2015

Arenna - Given to Emptiness (Album Review)

Given to Emptiness (2015) cover art

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: May 07th 2015
Label: Nasoni Records

Given To Emptiness - Track Listing:

1.Butes 10:20
2.Visions Of Rex 06:29
3.Drums For Sitting Bull 06:16
4.Chroma 08:59
5.Move Through Figurehead Lights 07:01
6.The Pursuer 06:15
7.Low Tide 01:40


Arenna was born in Basque Country in 2005. His style can be included inside the so called Psychedelic Stoner Rock, though they prefer being defined as lovers of the heavy riffs.


Arenna is a 5 piece band who have recently released their sophomore album-"Given To Emptiness". The music is otherworldly, ultimately a blend of new psych with old psych colorings and a hint of stoner rock. A mellotron is also present here and that means you are in for a treat. The vocals sound a bit more rhinal in nature compared to previous releases.

After two songs ("Butes" & "Visions of Rex", both of which have plenty of trench leaving groove and moments of brilliance), I began thinking that this band would further excel in making an instrumental album because the walls of sound that they create cascade into your conscious mind, leaving craters that will later fill with meteor ice, slowly melting and pervading the recesses of your unconscious brain. Don't get me wrong, after repeated listenings, the vocals grow like moss on your ears, but I just really dig the sound passages.

The third song is entitled, "Drums for Sitting Bull". The incorporated voice effects make this song stellar. A perfectly crafted blend of tune arrangement for one stoned Indian. I see smoke signals in the distance. A clear favorite.

The next song entitled, "Chroma", is exactly what I'm talking about...a powerful and well constructed instrumental that picks up momentum as it progresses through your speakers. This is the soundtrack to a time lapse film depicting the making of giant alien ant hills on a desert planet, such terrain later to be recycled as skate parks for Martian crust punks. This is, hands down, my favorite track on the album.

"Move Through Figurehead Lights" is a lighter song, with acoustical overtones and some spacey effects. The song picks up with some distortion and groove. This type of song works extremely well with the vocals.

"The Pursuer" is another song with plenty of slow, head nodding groove.

The closer is called "Low Tide". Another terrific, yet short, instrumental. Acoustical with spacey sounds. I wish it were longer, so I could slowly de-res into a desert mainframe.

It seems that Arenna know the strengths of their music. Two of the seven songs are fantastic instrumentals and these are clearly my favorites. The sound passages between the vocal parts and the sounds are hypnotic and take you to another dimension. The music is commanding, strong and well built. "Drums for Sitting Bull" and "Move Through Figurehead Lights" showcase the melting of the vocal passages with their brand of sounds, offsetting the slight dichotomy I find between the voice and the music in the other songs on the album. This not a bad thing, I just find that their music takes me somewhere else and any vocals remind me that I'm still on earth.

Arenna have moved forward from their desert rock demo and somewhat similar first album release. The older albums are ancient alien artefacts that speculate about the stars and this current album is a polished telescope with motorized focus that points to the stars. Some people may prefer the artefacts, others may prefer the telescope.

All in all, psych/progsters will eat this up, ask for a second helping and when tomorrow comes and Mom loudly exclaims "supper's ready!", the children will beg, "I want leftovers".

Words by Nick Palmisano

Thanks to Arenna for the promo. Given To Emptiness is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now.

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