- Band / Artist Archspire
- Genre Extreme Technical Death Metal
- Label Trendkill Recordings
- Year 2011
- Format Album
Canada has always been a breeding ground for Technical/Progressive Metal, right from the 90’s with GORGUTS releasing their ground breaking album OBSCURA, which would be known for its complex and sometimes bizarre rhythms to STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's CITY which is full of really crazy Technical Metal which the world still hasn’t forgotten. Ever since then the genre has continued to flourish in the country with bands like NEURAXIS, MARTYR, DESPISED ICON and TERRORHORSE, another addition to this list is ARCHSPIRE.
ARCHSPIRE is a five piece from Vancouver, Canada consisting of Jaron Evil(Bass/Vocals), Spencer Prewett(Drums), Tobi Morelli(Guitars), Dean Lamb(Guitars ) and Oli Peters(Vocals). This is a fairly new band which was formed last year, which makes this their debut album. The sound of ARCHSPIRE can be best described as Progressive/Technical Death Metal with a strong emphasis on melody, this obviously demands a very rich production to give full justice to their sound, which it mostly does as the mix is very neat, clean and balanced, every instrument is crystal clear, there was never a moment where I thought that any particular instrument wasn’t mixed well. The sound engineer seems to have indulged himself with all the studio tricks that the console can offer, which gives the band sound a very “glossy” sound, which I have to admit is not something that
attracts me but I guess it’s all right as it suits the bands style of music, all I can hope for is that this band is able to represent what they have in the studio when they play live as well, however the production falters a bit when it comes to recording sweeps in some tracks like RAPID ELEMENTAL DISSOLVE and GHOSTS OF SILENT TONGUE don’t sound they way they should in fact the sound very much like 8-bit video game soundtracks, but this is very minor and rarely occurs.
The guitar playing on this is very technical and will probably appeal more to the musician than to the average Metal fan, as this album is choc a bloc with dissonant riffs, arpeggios and a lot of melodic guitar work that is reminiscent of neo classical guitar playing, all of which are played at blisteringly fast speeds, while keeping the heavier, more brutal riffs pretty sparse. The technicality is added by Spencer as he blasts his way through with machine gun like blast beats and double bass that probably goes faster than a speeding Ferrari, but the real star of the show is Oli Peters, who delivers his mid pitched growls in an extraordinary manner, I have been listening to Metal for almost 5 years now yet I have never heard any one growl so fast as this guy, I really don’t have any words to describe what he does. Its almost as if he is growling 250 beats per minutes ! Now this is something I would love to see live!
But where ARCHSPIRE really fail is in terms of song writing, they are unable to take that technicality and turn into something that is unified and sounds like one complete song and is able to evoke an emotion or create an atmosphere. Instead what we have here are pieces of music that are randomly put together that seem to shift irrationally between mood and tempo. Unfortunately this is a problem that many bands in this genre face.
However for whatever is this album, its pretty decent and I did find some moments of this album entertaining, although I don’t think I would be going back to it anytime soon. These guys have the potential to succeed but they need to work on their song writing skills, until then I can only imagine ardent fans of this genre enjoying this. (5.8/10)
Recommended if you like: NECROPHAGIST, SPAWN OF POSSESSION, THE FACELESS, OBSCURA.
5 for the band 8 for the vocalist!
Mohammad Kabeer is a 23 year old Independent documentary film maker the subject of which is the metal scene in India , when not shooting a concert or an interview ,Kabeer spends his time watching Anime and reading Graphic novels apart from that he plays drums in a band called SLOTH , musically his interests lies in Sludge/Doom Metal/Thrash Metal and the phenomenon known as MESHUGGAH. Currently he is listening to a lot of Modern Grindcore.