Here’s the catalyst to ignite your brain: Archaea’s début full-length album has landed! The Swedes roll out a thrashy style of melodeath, with orchestral strains to counterbalance the harsh ’n’ heavy. Hannes Heidarsson has a knack for augmenting each track with a personal touch, working in harmony with his brother Markus and Magnus Lindegård on guitar. The rhythm section of Richard Mikulasi and Alexander Molnar are simply devastating, thundering through each track (except closer “Sol”, which is something entirely singular), while Nils Bossius wrecks his vocal chords in a hoarse rasp for your pleasure.
To pick individual tracks is tough, as each has their own unique merits. “Vacuum” has sheer neck-shifting groove with its staccato rhythms, “Salt” flirts with baroque classical within metal, “Quad Damage” is relentlessly thrash as the narrator hurtles through a video game environment, and “Helios Ascend” features guest vocalist Oscar Wahlqvist (ex-Enterion), even approaching a more death metal feel in its stomping rhythm.
Early press for this band has been extremely promising. The renowned Sweden Rock Magazine asked rhetorically, “Does the world need another melodic death metal band from Gothenburg? Normally I would claim that it is very doubtful. If they are of the same class as Archaea the answer is a roaring yes, every day of the week.” Meanwhile, Death Domain summarized that “Last track “Sol” is the best closer on an album ever!”. And finally, Ola Englund of Feared/The Haunted gave a ringing endorsement commenting personally that the band “sounds great as hell!”
As if that weren’t enough, Sweden’s Royal Library requested a personal copy of Catalyst for its archive. We like to think that King Carl XVI Gustaf is a metalhead with good taste. Proof (in Swedish) is availablehere.
RIYL: early and mid-era In Flames, Children Of Bodom, Arcturus
Archaea was founded in 2007 by the Heidarsson brothers Hannes and Markus, on keyboard and guitar. After a few intense formative years in the Gothenburg underground scene, Archaea set its sights putting their songs to tape. During this process Archaea was radically reshaped, with half the original lineup making way for new talent in guitarist Magnus Lindegård, drummer Alexander Molnar, bassist Richard Mikulasi and former guitarist Nils Bossius Klintenberg switching to take center stage as vocalist.
Despite little studio experience, they built their own studio to record the first album Catalyst during 2014. With the help of Johan Treptow for mixing and mastering, and with original artwork by Demithréa Mikulasi, Catalyst has turned out to be a creation that surpassed expectations.
Catalyst is an album that showcases the current form of Archaea, as well as capturing material from throughout the band’s existence. Ranging from crushing darkness to brilliant melody, with sharp contrasts and fluently shifting dynamics, Catalyst constitutes an intense musical journey. Archaea is now eager to unleash their unique form of melodic death metal upon the world!
Nils Bossius – Vocals
Hannes Heidarsson – Keyboard
Markus Heidarsson – Guitar
Magnus Lindegård – Guitar
Richard Mikulasi – Bass
Alexander Molnar – Drums
Written by Archaea, recorded by Archaea. Mixed and mastered by Johan Treptow. Original artwork by Demithréa Mikulasi. Photography by Jessica Blomé.
Catalyst – 2015
Evolution EP – 2009
Primary Excavation demo – 2007