Archivist – Construct

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Halo of Flies
Distributor/label URL: www.halooffliesrecords.com
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://archivistmusic.com/album/construct
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/archivistband/

1 a12Band line-up:

Gerfried – Guitar
Matthias – Guitar
Hannes – Bass
Steff – Drums
Anna – Vocals
Alex – Vocals/art/narrative

Tracklisting:

1. Lamenting Configuration
2. Birth Of Ire
3. Property?
4. The Negotiation
5. Scorched Earth Policy
6. The Reconstruction
7. Mysterium Cosmographicum
8. Witch Finder
9. An Epiphany
10. Theosophical Digressions..Artificial Intelligence

Review:

Archivist have just last month released their second effort, ‘Construct’, through the record companies, Halo of Flies (US), and Alerta Antifascista (EU). This atmospheric metal band consists of musicians from as varied places as the UK, Los Angeles and Germany. In their latest work, they write about the lone survivor of a huge ecological disaster. The poor woman starts to record her memories of Earth, onboard an ark, jettisoned from her planet.

Despite the mostly aggressive singing, and what seems to be the vocalist’s persistent sore throat, the music behind him is reasonably consonant for the most part. The greatest chordal sweetness comes from the clean guitars unsurprisingly, but even the distorted parts often have an almost heavenly quality to them. When you combine the heaviness of the pounding drums and the multilayered softness of the atmosphere (relatively speaking) you get nicely balanced heavy metal music.

Because of the lack of melodies and distinctive hooks, this music is somewhat forgettable. Tremolo picked strings and blast beats quickly get tiresome, and the rhythms in general are rather unimaginative. You can expect wave after wave of straight triplets or semiquavers, in what are perhaps intended as the ‘climaxes’ of the music. Having said that, there are a wide variety of tempos to be heard, from slow to stupidly fast. Whilst there is much variety heard in each song, there isn’t so much variety in the album – the majority of its songs sound somewhat similar, at least in parts. The phrase ’relaxed, mental, relaxed, mental’, (or its inverse) sums up their main songwriting technique quite nicely, though to be fair, not completely.

Admirably, Archivist seem to have drawn inspiration from a number of origins. In their ‘Witch Finder’ you hear a doom metal style riff, and in ‘Mysterium Cosmographicum’, you get a vocal line that is reminiscent of Tool’s Maynard James Keenan. It is also accompanied by the supergroup’s signature thoughtful and laid back instrumentation. ’The Theosophical Digressions.. Artificial Intelligence’ starts off with a chord progression that could have been written by Burzum, even. As the piece develops, a slamming series of power chords repeats over and over, but never too much. Think the middle section of Mayhem’s ‘Freezing Moon’. Well, sort of.

In conclusion, other than its frequent predictability, there is nothing majorly wrong with this release. However, it is also nothing special. Archivist may write atmospheric metal, but the number of moods and worlds they depict, are limited. Because of this, a listener could easily be disappointed. Furthermore, some more sung vocals would have been appreciated, especially as the shouting gets so monotonous. Buying this album wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world, but you might need to think about it.

Review by Simon the Mighty
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