Artica – Ombra e Luce

A typical classic gothic guitar can be heard in the intro, predicting what will follow. Here we have oldschool gothic rock, with the typical haunting guitarwork and drumming and the grave male tormented vocals. Artica already came into existence in 1989. They achieved quite a well-known name, partly due to their appearance on various succesful compilations like ‘L’Appel de la Muse’ or ‘The Hex Files’. This album was actually the debut for the band in 1995, on a label called Nyctalopia, which later ceased to exist. Now the album is available again, completely remastered to ensure a much better sound, new artwork and also a bonus track.

There is melancholy and weltschmerz, passion and despair. More intimate moments are alternated with uptemo rock parts. At times Artica sounds a bit dense and claustrophobic. The guitars are vivid, the vocals convincing, the bass is deep, the keyboards add some atmosphere. The lyrics on “Ombra e Luce” are all in Italian, on their more recent work they are experimenting with other languages too. On a few songs are some sparse female vocals added. They ensure a greater variation, something which the album can use well, my main criticism is that some songs sound too much alike. My favourite track is probably the uptempo ‘Honiria’, with a prominent role for the drums. Also outstanding is Sarajevo, which has just a little more tension and originality, heavier guitars and more aggressive vocals than most tracks. Of course you have to think of more famous acts from the 80’s now and then, but that doesn’t matter. This is an album which will please most gothic rock fans.

artist: Artica
label: Decadance Records
details: 13 tracks