Archspire
The Lucid Collective

Wow. 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for technical death metal. You’ve got Unique Leader’s killer 2014 releases (Soreption, Beneath, Near Death Experience as well as upcoming Pillory and Inanimate Existence records) Willowtip chipping in with Abysmal Torment Cultivate the Apostate, Italy’s reliable masters Hour of Penance withRegicide, respectable US efforts from Rivers of Nihil, Cognitive and Artificial Brain  and then later this year we will have the biggest of all, a new Origin record, Omnipresent. Phew.

Hailing from Canada, Archspire is a young act that resides on a certain end of the tech death spectrum. The end inhabited by the likes of later Origin, Obscura, Rings of Saturn, Burning the Masses, Kamikabe, Hiroshima Will BurnFallujah, and such. That’s to say amid the band’s innate super technical, gregarious  Canadian chops that sits in nicely with Augury,  Beneath the Massacre and such the band has a slight deathcore tone and one that’s chock full of shredding, melodic sweeps, super choppy,  noodly riffs, generic high and low vocals, and that oh so clinical, clicky production.

This will be one of those records that you will love or hate and will get stuck in the middle of the ‘skill vs song writing’ . Those that clamor for memorable riffs and songs will be irked by Archspire’s ADHD approach to song writing that pitters and patters all over the place with gleefully robotic precision. But those that enjoy sheer controlled chaos with nary second of restraint or catchy-ness, will wallow in Archspire’s completely over the top delivery and skill. Personally, while I’m, usually in the first group, there is something about the utterly insane technical virtuosity displayed by Archspire that I am really enjoying, the same way I enjoy Necrophagist’s albums, despite no discernible structure.

From opener “Lucid Collective Somnambulation”The Lucid Collective is a shrill, sweep heavy vortex that rarely lets up. Second phenomenal  track “Scream Feeding” has a few breaks here and there before “Plague of AM (Cogito Ergo Sum) ” delivers a gravity blast that would make John Longstreth blush (Archspire drummer Spencer Prewett is one to watch) . Vocalist Oli Peters gets in on the act to start “Fathom Infinite Depth” with a tongue destroying cadence to start the song showing vocalists can get in on this uber technical style as well. “Join Us Beyond” is just bat shit fucking insane (in a good way), being one long, 4 minute arpeggio over stop/start blast beats.

The lone break from the assault is mostly acoustic instrumental  “Kairos Chamber” which is sandwiched between two of the albums better tracks, “Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain” and closer “Spontaneous Generation” which blazes by with a more neo classical sheen amid the debilitating technical carnage.

To its credit, The Lucid Collective, at 35 brisk minutes, the album  does not over stay it’s welcome, as anything over 40 minutes of this style would be simply draining and forgetful. But as it stands, Archspire has delivered a fucking brilliant tech death record that’s mind blowingly played and with just enough semblance to have some staying power and should hold fans over until Omnipresent drops.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 19th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: krustster

    This is a really good album, but I’m shocked that you didn’t think to compare them to Spawn of Possession, since they sound almost identical (but with faster vocals).


  2. Commented by: jerry

    super disagree with the SOP comparison. If you want a similar band to those guys, check this out-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw_KZRlgBwU&list=PL99D49D6FC72B2111
    way less ridiculous, but the sound is very close.


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