Spleen Arcana is the project of French songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julien Gaullier.
Formed in 2008, Spleen Arcana is an eclectic mix of symphonic prog, space rock and art rock drenched in melancholic and contemplative moods.
Pairing up with drummer David Perron, and with the help of Marie Guillaumet on backing vocals, Julien Gaullier self-released Spleen Arcana's first album, The Field Where She Died in 2009.
This raw but sincere debut album was the result of a long, passionate process and countless hours of home studio explorations. With a limited print run of 500 copies, yet without any label nor promotion, The Field Where She Died is now nearly sold out thanks to the word of mouth.
Recorded in the same handcrafted way and with the same team, Spleen Arcana's second album, The Light Beyond The Shades, was released in February 2014.
Guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, songwriting
Julien starts learning his first instrument at the age of twelve when his brother showed him his first chords on acoustic guitar. His passion for music only grows since then, learning other instruments through the years. Very soon, Julien felt the desire to write his own songs and record them so he began to experiment with multi-track recording on a 4 tracks cassette recorder. Many recordings later, Julien formed Spleen Arcana in 2008 to release his first album, The Field Where She Died.
Julien's main inspiration comes from 70's progressive rock and musical heroes like Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield but also from wandering in the great outdoors such as the very inspiring Scottish mountains.
Drums and rhythmic ideas
David and Julien first met in 2003 when David was looking for a singer for his prog metal band. They played a few months together until their paths separated. Years later, Julien who has always been impressed by David’s playing, asked him to play on Spleen Arcana’s debut album The Field Where She Died.
David's eclectic and rich playing perfectly serves Julien's songs and is now a trademark of Spleen Arcana's sound. In 2011, David recorded the drums for The Light Beyond The Shades.
David’s main influences goes from Danny Carey, Nick d'Virgilio, Bill Brufford, Stewart Copeland to Briand Blade, Zoltan Czorcz, Nate Wood, Benny Greb, Elvin Jones...
Backing vocals, web & graphic design, photography
Raised to Led Zeppelin, Marie started learning music at 10. As a teenager, she took soprano singing lessons, realizing her voice was her favourite instrument. Today, she creates the heavenly backing vocals in Spleen Arcana's music.
Marie is also the artist behind Spleen Arcana's new visual identity: as a professional web and graphic designer, she gives the music a new dimension.
She regularly shares her web development tips, her visual inspiration sources as well as her journeys on her blog.
Sometimes this leads to moments of expansive grandeursuch as the eastern-tinged, metallic bombast of Trample On Me which resonates with a multisectioned Opeth splendour.
Spleen Arcana has its own sound incorporating a bit of early Marillion here and a bit of early King Crimson there. For a debut disc, The Field Where She Died is plenty accomplished and the musicianship shines throughout. I’d certainly recommend this to symphonic fans!
The most pleasing aspect of The Field Where She Died is the quality of the melodic composition. Strong melodic writing can cover a host of other compositional shortcomings and Gaullier shows throughout the album that he has a gift for melodic writing.
The Field Where She Died takes on a gentle variety of art rock in the symphonic vein, where vintage influences and a vintage sound are dominating aspects of the production.
Anyone who loves Mellotron will find plenty to appreciate here, but the guitar effects, vast array of keyboard sounds and vocal filters lift things beyond the ordinary.