Arcanvm - El Mantra Secreto de Los Espíritus

Adrian Benegas

It's commonl for many artists to have side projects or solo careers today, because digital […]
June 14, 2023
Adrian Benegas - Arcanvm - El Mantra Secreto de Los Espíritus album cover

It's commonl for many artists to have side projects or solo careers today, because digital techs and internet connections allowed things to be easier than in the 80s or 90s. But as the more such form is used, the more it came to be eroded, and the flood shows how many musicians lack the needed talent to do things on their own (even working in a band, where the responsibilities of the work is shared). But some surprising works appear from time to time, as "Arcanvm - El Mantra Secreto de Los Espíritus" (from now on just "Arcanum"), the second solo album of Adrian Benegas.

He is a keyboardist of Paraguay (in other words, a neighbor of this writer), and his musical work is a form of Symphonic Power/Heavy Metal rich in melodies and hooks, and with some traces of Hard Rock (some subjective influences of RAINBOW on its prime works can be felt in the aesthetics used on the arrangements). But the difference is that, even without creating anything new, Adrian brings the fans a personal and even esoteric, rich in rhythmic changes and amazing choruses, in a way that it's impossible to resist to. It's full of energy and every track has a 'melodic trap', or in other words, it's so filled with such lovely melodies and parts that are easy to be absorbed by the senses that the album is a lovely experience to deal with.

Adrian produced the album, but the choice for the mixing and mastering was Sascha Paeth, the legendary German producer that's a wizard for such genre. And the final result is a grandiose and clean sonority, with everything defined with the right effects, but keeping the heavy weight of a Metal album. And the other musicians are known for the fans: Zuberoa Aznárez (the Spanish singer and 'everything-player' of DIABULUS IN MUSICA) on the female vocals, Ronnie Romero (the Chilean singer of LORDS OF BLACK and RAINBOW) on the vocals, Michael Ehré (of GAMMA RAY and PRIMAL FEAR) on the drums, Anis Jouini (of the Tunisian Prog Metal kings of MYRATH) on the bass guitar, and Timo Somers (the Dutch guitarist of ARJEN LUCASSEN'S SUPERSONIC REVOLUTION and CARTHAGODS) on the guitars. It's a great team, indeed.

Musically, even with the contrasts in nationality of the musicians and everything else, "Arcanum" sounds and solid and massive as a rock. And it's lovely in each moment, with the best ones for a first ride (and for those lazy ones that needs a referential frame to begin with), "Sanctum" (what lovely rhythmic changes and excellent melodies, and the chorus is really amazing, filled with excellent keyboards orchestrations and charming vocals), "The Secret Within" (the tender melodies and some Prog Metal traces can be detected as bass guitar and drums leads the way, and the female voices parts are really fitting perfectly), "Pain is the Key" (the Heavy/Power Metal essence is clear, but some arrangements will bring the RAINBOW's traces to a point that easy to hear), "Caravan of Doomed Souls" (filled with majestic choirs-like orchestrations, but the oppressive ambience created by the guitars and effects is filled with some Oriental music traces, enriching the song and the album), "At the Mount of Solitude" (what lovely and introspective song, based mainly on vocals, pianos and keyboards effects), "El Milagro de Saber Esperar" (yes, a song in Spanish, and the vocals are amazing, showing that the metric of the language fits perfectly on Heavy Metal songs), and "The Spirit of Visions", but take good care: this album is as addictive as a bottle of Coke and sweet candies!

"Arcanum" is really a great album, showing that Adrian Benegas and his companions deserve applause!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Arcanvm - El Mantra Secreto de Los Espíritus" Track-listing:

1. I Am the Revenant (Prologue)
2. Sanctum
3. The Secret Within
4. Pain is the Key
5. Alchemy of Spirits
6. Caravan of Doomed Souls
7. At the Mount of Solitude
8. El Milagro de Saber Esperar
9. The Spirit of Visions
10. Lux Aeternam
11. El Mantra Secreto de Los Espíritus (Epilogue)

Adrian Benegas Lineup:

Adrian Benegas - Keyboards

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