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Technical death metal band Archspire reaches new heights with "All Shall Al

On my way down to California last weekend I was scrolling through my iPod to find something to jam on to help kill the time while driving. I came across this band I uploaded a few months ago called “Archspire.” I figured “What the Hell, I may as well see what these guys are all about.” After listening to them for one minute, I found myself unprepared and enamored by the sheer speed and brutality that possessed my eardrums. The album brought to mind bands like Spawn of Possession, The Faceless, Necrophagist and other technical death metal bands. After snapping out of my metal trance, I realized I was pushing the van more than 80 miles per hour and hadn’t even noticed because of the music.

All Shall Align

Vancouver, B.C. natives, the technical death metal band Archspire released “All Shall Align” on Trendkill Recordings in April of this year. The 7 track album reaches new heights of speed and technicality while still maintaining a sense of melody, even through intense instrumentation. Each member of this band holds an amazing amount of skill, which shines through on each of the album’s tracks.

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The album opens up with “Deathless Ringing,” my favorite track on the record. The riffs reminded me of Origin - lots of blast beating and fast riffing. Over the brutal riffing, vocalist Oli Peter’s delivers a mid-range growl with back up high screeches from bassist Jaron Evil which gives a truly wicked sound. The song doesn’t stick to this formula though, but goes into parts that seem almost to soothe the ears. During the buildup to the solo, the guitars take a break from constant riffing, and Jaron fills in those spots with smooth bass lines. The guitar solo isn’t sporadic, but is definitely insane in its own way. The melody of the solo is super catchy and really gives the listener a nice break from the intensity of the music. After that, it takes you right back to the amount of brutal vibes this band gives off.

The next track, “Archspire,” features excellent use of bells and cymbals, really showing that drummer Spencer Prewett can do more than fast double bass and blasting. Obviously his forte is slamming the skins hard and fast like a rabbit in heat, but it is refreshing to hear the diversity that he shows. Also featured on this track is a clean and ambient guitar part, giving the song an eerie vibe. The listener is then growled back to the music by the thundering bass.

Through the rest of the album, each instrument is very present in the mix which is surprising as usually the bass is the unsung hero in these types of bands. Instead, at times, the bass is almost the driving factor of the riff, which in a genre that is dominated by the talent of the guitarists and drummers, it is nice to hear the bass spearheading the charge. “All Shall Align” keeps you listening to every track because you never really know what will come next. Whether it is dazzling drum parts, driving bass, or laser fast guitar riffs, it keeps your eardrums entertained.

The album ends with the title track “All Shall Align,” an instrumental, which utilizes orchestral sounds to give an epic end to the CD. It reminded me of Dimmu Borgir, as it’s a cleaner sounding black metal influenced track.

A complaint people may have with this album is that there are no “short” tracks. They aren’t extreme epic 12 minute long songs, but you won’t find any 2 minute thrash tracks. Each song is fast, but they like to take the listener to different places and it takes time to build up to get to where they’re going. Sometimes the places are a little too awkward, as some of the guitar effects seemed a little odd to me.

A fair warning: this album is intense. I can’t imagine it would be ideal if you are trying to smoke a bowl and relax. You may find yourself wide-eyed and unsure how to handle yourself.

Overall, I am extremely excited for whatever this band does next. Since they are just across the Washington border, I hope they will come down and play a show or two. If they do, you can definitely catch me in the pit.

4.5/5.

Until next time, HORNS

John “The Jabroni” Intern


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07/30/2011 4:07PM
Technical death metal band Archspire reaches new heights with "All Shall Align"
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