Becoming The Archetype

Celestial Completion

Written by: PP on 12/04/2011 05:47:15

Few bands come as challenging as Atlanta, Georgia's Becoming The Archetype, a Christian progressive death metal band that has released three full lengths prior to "Celestial Completion". Their music is characterized by many of the same elements as the leaders in this particular genre, Between The Buried And Me, starting from demanding and infinitely complicated holistic compositions to the intricate and challenging minute detail pummeled towards the listener every waking second of the album.

In this sense it's a very claustrophobic sound, packing immense amounts of rich and intriguing elements into a tightly executed and confined soundscape. They integrate a distinct flavor of metalcore from the older days but skillfully disguise it underneath a wealth of surprising tempo shifts, zig-zagging riffs and layers of melody - also a very characteristic BTBAM thing to do by the way - which is continually torn to shreds by the powerful and varied growl of vocalist Seth "Count Seth" Hecox. He owns a thick, dominant style that doesn't necessarily distinguish him from too many peers in the field but is strong enough to steer the band's spastic instrumental expression into an interesting and rewarding direction. Take "The Magnetic Sky", for instance, where the guitars are interlacing between horror chords and complex riff wizardry in a seemingly never-ending fashion, his solid growl holds the song together, especially when it is contrasted against faded clean vocal choirs that are almost operatic in nature. It's a beautiful contrast, and one we see used on several other tracks throughout the album as well.

But what makes "Celestial Completion" even more interesting - ultimately elevating it far ahead of the earlier, somewhat more simplistic and unambitious albums by this band - is how classical piano sits perfectly in interludes and introductions to and within songs alongside unconventional metal instruments like trombones, sitars, tamburas, tablas and the vocoder, which all make an appearance during various passages of the album. And before you wrench over the inclusion of vocoder, it's mostly deep robotic growls that are used on just a couple of songs where the atmosphere is driven towards space for a futuristic effect.

Still, I'm not one hundred percent convinced by "Celestial Completion". It has its moments of sheer brilliance; "Xenosynthesis: Requiem Aeternam III", "Reflect/Refract", and "Path Of The Beam" all stand on even footing against BTBAM. But in between are songs that impress by their unorthodox songwriting and intelligent structure, but fail to latch themselves onto your memory otherwise. That said, there's so much good going on here and an overwhelming amount of depth on offer, so award Becoming The Archetype any lower rating would be an injustice.

Download: The Magnetic Sky, Xenosynthesis: Requiem Aeternam III
For the fans of: Between The Buried And Me, Born Of Osiris, The Human Abstract
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.03.2011
Solid State Records

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