Arcane Roots, Toska live at Legend Club (Milano, Italy)

Arcane Roots is a British alternative rock trio composed of Andrew Groves (vocals, guitar), Adam Burton (bass) and Jack Wrench (drums, percussions). The band formed back in 2007 and is best known for the energetic live performances. Trying to ‘confine’ this band in a single genre is quite difficult because the trio has the ability to incorporate different types of music in their work: Arcane Roots has, as a matter of fact, been mostly described as alternative/progressive rock band, while they embody elements from genres such as hard-rock and post-hardcore. With the band’s latest album ‘Melancholia Hymns‘, which came out September 15th, Arcane Roots show a further development in their sound, leaving everyone not knowing where the band will be going next.

Opening act was Toska, an instrumental progressive metal band from Brighton, UK. I honestly don’t know if that was the original idea behind the band name, but ‘toska’ is a Russian word that could be roughly translated as ‘melancholia’ or ‘sadness’, and as Vladimir Nabokov said “At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish.” This concept, combined with the ever-present monochromatic and cold blue lights (with just a really tiny contrast of yellow at some point), generally gave that feeling. As an instrumental band Toska have no one singing over their music, but with the solid performance they give there’s no need for it.

Photo credit: Andrea Kronos Photography

Headliners Arcane Roots opened their set with “Before Me” (song that also opens the band’s latest album ‘Melancholia Hymns‘), making their enter on stage in a pitch black room: this condition of persistent darkness stayed for great part of the show: it feels like this state is made to suggest to pay more attention to the music itself and the atmosphere that it creates, instead of focusing on who is playing it on stage. Italian artist Caparezza says, in his latest work: “Io sono il disco, non chi lo canta” (meaning: “I am the record, not who sings it”), and I think last night’s Arcane Roots show brought that kind of experience to the audience.

Photo credit: Andrea Kronos Photography

Circle pits were not missing anyway, especially during “Off The Floor”, where half the room had people running and jumping like hell. Closing combo of the setlist were the emotional “Curtains” and the banger “If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves”, song that perfectly wrapped the evening.

If you wanna catch Arcane Roots and Toska on tour, you can check out the next dates on their socials down below.



  1. Before Me
  2. Matter
  3. Slow
  4. Sacred Shapes
  5. Leaving
  6. Off The Floor
  7. Slow Dance
  8. Indigo
  9. Rouen
  10. Curtains
  11. If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves

Arcane Roots online:

Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || YouTube

Toska online:

Website || Facebook