Archspire
Relentless Mutation

I wasn’t sure how these young Canadians would follow up their excellent 2014 debut, The Lucid Collective, a completely over the top , noodling clinical and triggered tech death tour de force, only since topped by First Fragment‘s Dasein since then as far as sheer tech death insanity goes.

Well, they are up the the task, as they have equaled the debut both in tech ridiculousness and intensity.

Once again, this is one of those tech death metal records  along the likes of First Fragment, Beneath the Massacre, Vale of Pnath, Rings of Saturn and  The Zenith Passage, that many  folks will decry as soulless tech death that’s about skill, not songs. But personally this is both, the skill displayed is jaw dropping, but like many of their peers mentioned earlier as well as say Inanimate Existence, they can make the songs intelligent and memorable. Basically if you like any of the aforementioned bands, you will dig this.

The lineup being largely intact (Jared Smith replaces Jaron Evil on bass) helps, so there is continuity in both sound, skill and delivery, and at times it’s dizzyingly good. The album is even shorter than its predecessor, at only 30 minutes,  which actually helps due to the stimulation overload of shredding, sweeping blasting intensity throughout. The respites only come on short spurts of atmospherics (“Involuntary Doppleganger”, “The Mimic Well”, “A Dark Horizontal”) or acoustic bits to start or end songs (“Relentless Mutation”), but for the most part, this thing literally shreds from start to finish. It’s not quite as playful or melodic as First Fragment or Gorod, but boy is it well played and intense.

Highlights are hard to pick out amid the sheer chaos, but the closing trio comprised of slightly more restrained and melodic  “The Mimic Well”, utterly insane, Origin on meth “Calamus Will Animate” (that opening machine gun vocal overly is just sick) and  6 minute closer “A Dark Horizontal”, which shows a little more experimentation within the shredding tech vortex, are all fucking killer, and had me replaying.

I’m sure this will be a divisive album, as the debut was, as the clinical ostentatious is at time overwhelming, but in a year of great tech death metal, Archspire is right up there with Origin, Decrepit Birth, Beneath, Suffocation, Beheaded, Inanimate Existence and others regardless of how you view their delivery, and then some. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 11th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dave

    I do believe their “debut” album was All Shall Align. That aside, was glad to read someone pointing out these guys’ skills at SONG. This album is so good and it’s because of the songwriting. Comparing to First Fragment, there’s a ton of neoclassical going on this new Archspire, but overall at around a half hour runtime not nearly as overwhelming as FF.


  2. Commented by: Ace Barker

    Yeah, this album flies by for sure…but this band’s skills and the production combined equal some seriously next level shit. Now that they have people’s attention I hope they get the recognition they deserve.


  3. Commented by: F.Rini

    I contacted the band and they acquired the rights to their debut All Shall Align. They will be reissuing it for the first time ever on cd. They’ll post on their FB page once specifics are in place.


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