Review: Archspire – Relentless Mutation 9.5

  • Archspire 
  • Relentless Mutation
  • Tech death
  • Vancouver
  • 22nd September 2017
  • 9.5/10

Bandcamp

I’ve been meaning to review this for about a year now, it’s an album that I have been blasting pretty consistently since discovering them last year. They are most known for their insanely fast vocals but I’ve more enjoyed them for their song composition which is often very playful and fancifull – not always feeling beholden to a sense of brutality. This flexibility shows their musicianship and their showmanship. Spiritually, it all reminds me of Dethklok (if anyone still remembers Metalocalypse).

I can’t even pin down the playfulness to one aspect, which I often attribute to guitarwork alone. Everyone’s using interesting techniques. There’s cool vocal techniques both organic and use of distortion. The drums are intensely timed and often do this rolling technique that I can’t understand due not being a drummer myself. It normally sounds fast and then he accentuates the current pace with little bursts of triplets or maybe even sixlets. Some of the guitar tones are straight up neon fucking baller, like a fucking keytar or something. The guitars work really well together but the rhythm is unusually technical in it’s approach, it’ll do precise and alternating tremolo picking underneath the lead guitars blistering licks that sound like a perpetual solo. It feels Scandinavian inspired.

And when the melody hits, it hits hard. Their ability to descend into the melody rather than simply transitioning is super smooth and even affecting in some way. The vocals are kind of nuts though, hard to believe really. I had to seek proof online in the form of video:

The only appropriate response is “Get fucked”. It’s not just pace that makes him impressive, it’s the lyrical aspect that allows for the flow. He’s not always utilizing speed, he effectively emphasises key lyrics. It’s a style that’s very much from rap music as he explained in the video as initially attempting to emulate Tech 9. I’ve always appreciated the blend of genres and it truly is important for ANY musician to seek influences beyond their genre and even metal. It simply elevates the medium.

It’s also absurdly catchy at times with some serious beats swinging that I could imagine making up some ridiculous dance to. Good rhythm. My only issue is the length of this record, it’s pretty damn short and I want a lot more. It’s been three years now and I also don’t have a follow up but I’m hoping that’s to do with quality standards and not stemming from any issues within the band. Also, despite being out for some time there are still vinyl available so get on that shit.

Artwork is by Eliran Kantor who has an impressive list of commissions so expect to see me cover more of his work. He’s worked with some modern releases and re-releases by some killer bands like Testament, Iced Earth, Atheist and Sigh.

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