The sun sets in the West, clouds slowly rolling into mysterious darkness. Upon a hill, a man sits watching the heavens reveal their secrets in an arcane code; a vernacular of patterns which exist on a scale beyond the scope of human comprehension. His eyes take in the endless vaccum for all that their nakedness can discern.

This description of balance between the terrestrial and the grandiose is how "Raspail" hits. It is very much a continuation of the style first undertaken with "Le Serpent Rouge", with added dynamics and once more, vocals. It is not the Arcana of old who are the only thing prevalent on "Raspail"; the militaristically cold darkness of Sophia also has been put into the proceedings. Long time fans will hear this effortlessly and be astounded. But whose, you may be asking. Beyond the languid piano soliloquies and precisely arranged exotic instrumentation there are messages being sent, words enunciated in whispers. Is it just a case that no one can summon what Arcana do anymore or are they heralds of a new age of eclectic exploration. Whatever one chooses to hope for with this album, one thing is certain: this is their "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun". It is classical, it is choral, it is esoteric - it is Arcana. An Arcana who now with their five member line-up are possibly the most diverse atmospheric outfit operating in the world today.

I have to go back to Peter Bjargo's signature usage of heavily reverbed piano... like the rain slowly sliding down the panes of glass with the firelight throbbing within, condensation of breath being the impetus; remarkable intimacy is achieved on the tracks "Sigh of Relief" and "Outside Your World". Alternately, Swans fans are due for much enthrallment with "Out of the Gray Ashes" channeling the same resigned and disgusted tone with the world M. Gira showered us with when he himself penned the numbers "Was He Ever Alive?" and "A Parasite and Other Memories". Arcana's lead member sits down with his acoustic guitar and a list, a litany one might say of both the causes and the crimes humanity enthusiastically espouse and shall reap their reward for.