The Union

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With The Union, Arabesque has presented an album that showcases their brand of keyboard-infused progressive metal. It sometimes brings to mind Fates Warning meets Dream Theater. At times, the textures wander into near fusion territory, and at other times, come across as almost in the Candlemass/Black Sabbath vein. The dual female vocals are the real sticking point here. Their texture reminds one at most times almost of a cross between Rik Emmett, Geddy Lee and Annie Haslam, but they can be a bit much to take. Since the group began as an instrumental outfit, one might wonder if they should have remained in that format. Merriam-Webster defines the noun "arabesque" as "an elaborate and intricate pattern." Surely the band's complex arrangements and instrumental textures fit into this definition. Indeed, the music presented here is quite strong in the prog-metal vein, but the vocals detract from the enjoyment rather than enhance it.

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