Archspire
Bleed The Future

For 3 albums now, Canada’s young tech-death masters have shredded their way into the upper echelon of the genre. From 2011’s barely registering debut, All Shall Align, to 2014swatershed album,  The Lucid Collective, which put them on the map, to 2017s Relentless Mutation, which signaled they were now masters of their craft they have improved with each album. But, could they do it for the all-important third album?

To be honest, the answer is a bit mixed. Bleed the Future is certainly a blistering. worthwhile follow-up to the last album and continues the band’s now honed in sound, in a short 30-minute stab of no-frills, no-nonsense, blistering, clinical technical death metal. But I’d have to say it’s hardly an improvement, but at least equal, and that’s partially because Relentless Mutation was, well……. so relentless, and Bleed The Future delivers essentially the same levels of warp-speed shredding insanity that does not let up, with the only respites being a few bars of acoustics (“Drain of Incarnation”) or even a brief moment of classically inspired music (“Reverie on the Onyx”) which uses Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” to start a couple of the tracks.

Still present is Oliver Rae Aleron, who vocally, is the tech death metal equivalent of Eminem’s‘”Rap God’ on every song, with a unique and dizzying cadence that becomes essentially an instrument he wields much like the guitars of Dean Lamb and Tobi Morelli and ridiculously inhuman drums of Spencer Prewett; all of which are delivered with absolute master craft levels of skill.  And returning is Producer Dave Otero, making everything as clinical and surgical as possible, so every sweep (well the whole album basically) slices and dices and every blast beat is a salvo of dizzying complexity.

But the issue is, and always has been and always will be the level of memorability and enjoyment. While some of their 2021 tech-death peers have developed a little (Ophidian I, First Fragment) , or even reigned things in (Obscura), the listener will have to decide if Archspire’s staunch delivery of essentially the same over the top sound as the last 2 albums is worth it. And for fans, it will be. but I’m a little on the fence. Once I heard opener “Drone Corpse Aviator” (which actually delivers on the term ‘face-melting’ in the above video), I feel like I’ve know what the next 7 songs will deliver as well.

Other than a couple of above-mentioned respites, it’s just a completely insane, sweep and blast orgy of speed. And again, that’s fine, sometimes, it takes my breath away, but sometimes, with tracks from the aforementioned opener, through batshit insane standout “Golden Mouth of Ruin” (which is features a rare ‘groove’ per say…), “Abandon the Linear”, the title track, or  “Acrid Canon”, I’m not sure where the songs stop-start as they bleed into the songs before and after. Still, aficionados of unrelenting tech will slurp this up, as they should its fucking mind-blowingly impressive at times, but also, at times pretty soulless, maybe album number 5 should think about tweaking the formula a tad.

As closer “A.U.M”  states in its intro, “Bring Back the fucking danger in the music!”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 26th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: Aaronius

    Yep, pretty spot on (as usual Eric). This one’s on 11 from start to finish, and that’s the problem. Amazing musicianship? Absolutely, but far from memorable. Also the vocalist reminds me of Nathan Explosion from Dethklok, which I find more amusing than awesome.


  2. Commented by: Aaronius

    Yep pretty spot on (as usual Eric). This Album stays on 11 and that’s the problem. Amazing musicianship? Absolutely, but it’s not memorable. Also the vocalist reminds me of Nathan Explosion from Dethklok, which is more funny than awesome.


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