Dying Vine

I actually reviewed this album at another website a couple of years ago after it came out on Hope Prevails Productions, but now with a re-mastered sound, new artwork and a cover of Cynic’s “How Could I?”, I’m recalling how good this actually was and how well it stands up 3 years later.

If the fact this band features former Becoming The Archetype guitarist Alex Kenis (who left BTA to focus on Aletheian full time) and the presence of the Cynic cover does not clue you in to Aletheian’s sound as (as well as the original label), I’ll clue you in; Technical, progressive, yet melodic death metal with a Christian lean.

Formerly known as Crutch, Aletheian’s sound is firmly rooted in the likes of Cynic, Death, Atheist, Believer and such, but with a more grace filled and positive tone rendered with some subtle synths and clean vocals here and there. The remastered sound (a weak point of the original release) now allows the intricate, stammering structures to breathe and the bands more progressive, introspective injections to have a deeper, fuller impact.

Vocalist Joel Thorpe is still the weak link in the music with a generic mid range rasp and some unconvincing clean vocals (i.e. “Open Grave”), but thankfully the clean vocals are not used much and frankly the highlight of the music is the guitar work of Kenis and Donny Swigart who deftly weave Schuldiner-esque moments of sublime skill in their riffs and solos. Tracks like standout opener “Paragon”, “Shepard’s Fold”, “Divine Line” and noodle-riffic “Call To Arms” not only highlight the guitarist’s individual abilities, but also show a knack for penning sprawling, progressive structures, that are ambitious but not pretentious wankery.

A definite darkhorse in the US metal scene, and while most may think it metal heresy for a Christian band to ape Chuck and other tech metal luminaries, Aletheian are actually one of the more competent homage’s I’ve heard

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 29th, 2008


  1. Commented by: swampthang

    ya know there vocalist is kinda similar to Epicurean because they don’t seem like they would work but they fit perfectly with the music. well sorta, and ya know its funny cuz some of the christian tech bands these days destroy lots of anti christian or non religion techy bands. maybe god gives these kids skills lol.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I gave this album a listen a couple months ago, but it didn’t really grab me. But then again, I don’t think I was paying much attention to it – I’ll have to give another more serious go, as two reviews now have made it sound like something I would surely be into.

  3. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Actually I like these guys a lot, but I do think they need a few more albums to grow.

    Also Eric I think Alex actually does the clean vocals, and while they are alright I think they need a really good producer (like maybe Devin Townsend) to bring them up to where they need to be.

    Of course Hevy Devy is producing the new Becoming the Archetype record so maybe Alethian could get him to work on their next one as well.

    Overall a good listen though and one of the more original bands to come along lately.

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