Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. It's a weird blend of power-driven grunge and melancholy: a fever dream that sweats out weary sadcore as it primitively pounds out acid rock drudge.
  2. It has a denser, more cohesive sound, more defined rhythms and richer arrangements--and yet lacks some of the subterranean pull of its predecessor.
  3. Filter
    While the melodies and rhythms won't escape most listeners, it is the aforementioned instrumental prowess and attention to detail that help build appreciation with each listen. [Winter 2009, p.94]
  4. Mojo
    Benefiting from a stable line-up throughout, Song of the Pearl manages to sound brighter and more dynamic while retaining its predecessor's visionary essence. [Apr 2009, p.107]
  5. Perhaps praising Heumann's improved writing plays like faint praise, but it's as significant a step in the right direction as tightening the instrumental belt is in the wrong direction.
  6. While it might not be as interesting or idiosyncratic as its predecessor, "Rites of Uncovering," it is a more-cohesive record that, in turn, makes for more a more-satisfying whole.
  7. Song of the Pearl marks a nice transition for these guys, but it ends up sounding like it could have been more.
  8. Q Magazine
    There's plenty of squelching, soaring solos, and drone rock, just the ticket for those turned on by 11-minute epic 'The Rise' from the last album. [Apr 2009, p.97]
  9. Song of the Pearl may not be full of surprises, but it provides a fresh trip through familiar territory that's more than idle nostalgia.
  10. Song of the Pearl, then, is well-executed, but stuck in the same gear, especially in its middle.
  11. Uncut
    The ebb and flow of Arbouretum's music, still rooted in folk but flaring into twin-guitar noise-rock, is often astounding. [Apr 2009, p.90]
  12. Under The Radar
    The band layers on fuzzy distortion through chugging chord progressions, sounding something like Nirvana fronted by John Fogerty. [Spring 2009, p.76]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. sergim
    Apr 1, 2009
    Arbouretum has that old sound without sounding old fashioned. The music is loud and elegant. It gets better with every listen. "Another Arbouretum has that old sound without sounding old fashioned. The music is loud and elegant. It gets better with every listen. "Another hiding place" and "False spring" are really addictive. For fans of last psych sixties and early seventies rock and also for indie fans loooking for a harder sound and warm at the same time. No one band sounds like this nowadays. The singer, Dave Heuman has something very few singers has: soul. Full Review »