Artist: Arc Angel 
   Title: Harlequins Of Light
   Label: Frontiers Records

The name of Arc Angel and founder Jeff Cannata are synonymous with the classic 1983 self titled debut album and the subsequent solo albums under the Cannata.

Now in 2013, Cannata has resurrected the Arc Angel name with a new album ‘Harlequins Of Light’, where Cannata not only plays guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, but also covers lead and backing vocals.  But this isn’t a one man show for joining him on this new opus are Jeff Batter: Acoustic Piano, Synths, Jay Rowe: Organ, Synths, Scott Spray: Bass Guitar, David Coe: Acoustic Guitar, Jimi Bell, Gary Maus, Andy Abel, Tony Spada, Mark Proto, Jay Jesse Johnson: Lead Guitars and Pete Hodson: Background Vocals and Synth.  So does the album live up to the sum of its parts?  You bet it does!  This some of the finest AOR (with a smidgen of Prog) you’ll hear this year.

The album opens up with the title track ‘Harlequins of Light’ and from the off the quality shines through.  Cannata vocals bring that AOR spirit to the mix and the musicianship delivers on so many levels.  Soaring keyboards and guitars that define not just the opener, but the entire album, with great songs like the melodic rocked ‘As Far As The Eye Can See’, the progressive tones of ‘War (Battlewounds of Life)' and 'Voice Of Illuminati’, right through to ‘California Daze and ‘Diamonds and Gold’.

Although the stand out track has to be the revamped ‘Fortune Teller’ from the Canatta solo album ‘Images Of Forever’, this reworking is aptly entitled ‘Fortune Teller 2’, a fitting reminder of Canatta’s solo work, as well as piece of classic AOR.

This definitely one album that any honest AOR fan will have to have in their collection.  Like I said before, you’ll be hard to find a finer example of pure AOR this side of Christmas.

Review by: Barry McMinn

Tracklisting:

1. Harlequins Of Light 
2. As Far As The Eye Can See
3. War (Battle Wounds Of Life)
4. Voice Of Illuminati
5. Through The Night
6. Amnesia (The Rest of Your Life)
7. Fortune Teller 2
8. California Daze
9. Tonight ... Forever
10. Get To You
11. Diamonds And Gold
12. Legend Of The Mary Celeste

                   

 

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