Release DetailsLABEL Solid State Records
RELEASED ON 8/30/2005
Becoming The Archetype
posted on 9/2005 By:
Is this the 7th sign of the apocalypse? Dan Seagrave cover art gracing a Christian metal album on Solid State Records? What’s next? Cats and dogs getting along? I digress, the angels vs. demons cover art despite its similarity to Souls to Deny and Where Ironcrosses Grow, is actually pretty fitting for Becoming the Archetype’s music.
I rarely go by the sticker on the CD, but the sticker gracing Terminate Damnation was actually pretty accurate; Unearth meets Opeth, which translates to thunderous metalcore and graceful introspective shades of progressive metal. I would also throw in The Showdown considering the band's aggressively Christian but non-preachy lyrical stance, metal prose and imagery. The end result is a pretty damn good metal album that as usual, most closed-minded metal heads will sneer at.
With Zach Hodges producing but Tue Madsen doing the mastering and mixing, you know it sounds great, and BtA don’t just rely on the production values to carry mediocre metalled up metalcore, the band are certainly a death metal (be it melodic, Swedish, Floridian, etc) band despite the label ties and metalcore vocals. After the classic 1990’s keyboard intro of “March of the Dead”, BtA launch into the aptly titled “Into Oblivion”; an impressive 5 minute array of varied metal tendencies; galloping melodies, explosive breaks and eloquent segues that don’t seem forced or piecemeal but befitting the band's esoteric themes. “One Man Parade” is more immediate, angular and thunderous sans graceful interludes but it only serves as a dissonant taster for album centerpiece, the eleven minute epic “Elegy”. The word epic is often over used, but here with the track broken down into three distinct parts; “Deception”, “Lament” and “Triumph”, BtA truly show a knack for the grandiose. “Deception” is the rumbling six-minute death metal start of the song, while “Lament” and “Triumph” are superb piano/acoustic sections that are simply mesmerizing in their depth and somber beauty.
It's hard for the band to follow up, let alone top “Elegy”, but they try in earnest with a couple of yet more artful piano/acoustic laced instrumental tracks “Night’s Sorrow” and “Denouement”. “The Epigone” with its rousing opening synth lines, is the album’s best ‘short’ track with hearty canter and tangible heaviness mixed with melody-it’s a more traditional metalcore track (complete with a massive breakdown), but is done extremely well. “Beyond Adaptation” is the album's shortest, sharpest most chaotic track, lacking the band's depth and eloquence, but it is certain to appeal to the Ion Dissonance and The Red Chord crowd. “Ex Nihilo” and “The Trivial Paroxysm” are more captivating and intriguing with shifts in atmosphere from rumbling metal to sublime acoustic interludes.
Lyrically, BtA are not as thought provoking and personal as label mates As Cities Burn, or as charged as The Showdown but they get their message across and bassist Jason Wisdom does a good job of delivering them. There are three guitarists listed in the CD inlay, but it’s not as sonically apparent like Beyond the Embrace, Maiden or The Acacia Strain as BtA don’t seem to flaunt melodies needlessly.
On the whole, another mighty impressive Christian offering that most metalheads will miss out on.
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