This Saturday: WITHIN TEMPTATION, AGENT FRESCO & more to come

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First edition of Bucharest Blast with symphonic, progressive and math metal on September 3rd at Arenele Romane in Bucharest.

by Monica Apostol

The Dutch band Within Temptation will be returning to Romania to perform at ARTmania Bucharest Blast first edition this year! The other bands that confirmed for this event are Agent Fresco, Mutiny on The Bounty and Sinoptik.

IMPORTANT: if you live outside Romania you can get your instant digital ticket from Kompostor. If you live in Romania and you love printed tickets you can buy them from Eventim, Myticket or directly from ARTMANIA!

Agent Fresco are as untamed, graceful, momentous, dangerous and unpredictable as the land they come from. Agent Fresco are from Iceland – a country almost impossible not to be influenced by. “Living in a country that has summers of non-stop light and winters of almost complete darkness is bound to have an impact on your state of mind,” says vocalist, composer and frontman Arnór Dan Arnarson. So that’s settled.Agent Fresco’s music is a reflection of this ever-changing landscape, with its overwhelming sense of freedom and vastness. This is a progressive Art Rock band t hat needs to be experienced from a few steps back to be grasped in its entirety, like a bold work of art. In the last couple of years, their iridescent, propulsive, arty and highly addictive music made the highly esteemed Reykjavik band – comprised of Arnór Dan, Þórarinn Guðnason, Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson and Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson – become the favourite of a music-loving nation and an act sparking international interest. Or, to use the words of MTV’s own Halley Bondy: “By and large one of the best bands to come out of Iceland”. And this in a country with a higher band per capita ratio than most others! All it took was one album. A Long Time Listening, released in 2010, caused disbelieving faces, breathless wonder and bottomless enthusiasm for a passionate musical display like this. Prog Rock, Avantgarde, Metal or Alternative? Jazz, Post Rock or even Djent? The critics raved, vying with each other in a futile attempt to label these tunes from Iceland.

Marino-Thorlacius-vs-Agent-Fresco-5173-2“An amazing album by the best rock band in the country today,” was the verdict of the country’s most important national newspaper, Morgunblaðið. Even by the wide-open standards of Icelandic music Agent Fresco’s interpretation of the rock genre is unusually soulful and multi-layered, with a quicksilver rhythmic pulse and mother-of-pearl harmonies reflecting every mood colour imaginable. “There’s an incredible amount of artistic freedom in this band,” Arnór Dan states and Þórarinn adds: “The moment we stop pushing boundaries we can call it quits. I truly hope that never happens.” For Agent Fresco, the challenge is of utmost importance. The challenge to surpass oneself, to go places, to enter new territories. This is only possible by maintaining integrity, says Arnór Dan: “I truly feel like we’re creating something unique and honest while we challenge ourselves on a professional and personal level.”

Agent Fresco’s music is not for mere entertainment purposes, that should be clear by now. Although, to be fair, they wouldn’t mind if you’d use it so. “My music is an extremely powerful outlet for me and I believe that writing lyrics help me evolve emotionally and intellectually as a human being,” says Arnarson. “Being creative and making music simply gives me a purpose.”

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