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Arc Of Life: Arc Of Life
Arc Of Life - 2021 Self-titled Debut Album Art

Arc Of Life: Arc Of Life

Melodic Progressive Rock
3.5/5.0

The ubiquitous composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood simply cannot stand still. When not performing with Yes (among others), the talented fellow enjoys creating or collaborating with new projects, specifically new bands. So, along arrives Arc Of Life wherein we find Sherwood working with current Yes members, vocalist Jon Davison and drummer Jay Schellen. The band is completed by Dave Kerzner (ex-Sound of Contact) on keyboards and Jimmy Haun (Yes, Air Supply, Circa, et al) on guitars. Their self-titled debut album arrives on the Frontiers Music label.

Arc Of Life - Click For Larger Image

Arc Of Life

After a spin and another of Arc Of Life, several basic observations can be made. First, the Yes influence is obvious and omnipresent across the recording. According to PR info, this was intentional. Jon Davison was obviously hired to front Yes because he had some of Jon Anderson's vocal timbre. Some Yes fans might even say Anderson voice defined the Yes sound. But we could argue that point until the cows come home. Yet, Davison does give Arc Of Life that Yes timbre.

Second, this is definitely melodic progressive rock. The arrangements are largely complex and dense, offering intrigue tempered by solid song melody, groove, and vocal harmony. Yet, considering a smattering of songs some musical elements and participants rise higher. First, and again obviously, the vocal arrangements are primary. Of course, Sherwood's fine bass work fulfills the rhythm section and undergirds each arrangement. After this, between guitar and keyboards, the latter seemed to have greater sway. For the former, besides adding lush density, the keyboards seem twisted with the vocals, giving Davison something of an electronic or synthetic voice. As to the former and the guitar work, that's not to say that Jimmy Haun doesn't have a presence or drop a solo. You simply have to wait for them, and pay attention because they can be spirited but brief or immersed with keyboards. Better examples come within Locked Down, the pop-like You Make It Real, and Just In Sight wherein, from riffs to guitar lines, Haun sounds stronger.

Briefly considered, I found Arc Of Life's debut album creative, intriguing, and perhaps a bit daring and therefore possibly more inaccessible to a mainstream listener. However, melodic progressive rock purists will likely lavish gushing praise because of the same. Recommended.




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The Bottom Line

I found Arc Of Life's debut album creative, intriguing, and perhaps a bit daring and therefore possibly more inaccessible to a mainstream listener. However, melodic progressive rock purists will likely lavish gushing praise because of the same. Recommended.

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