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Arcaeon - Balance Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 February 2018, 7:51 AM

Hailing from Reading, UK, Modern Metal quintet ARCAEON have released their debut EP, which contains five tracks. What is mostly a Prog/Core mash here for me is a relatively new thing in Metal, and an area I find a lot of room for new artists and blazing new sounds. For me, it combines the best of two great Metal genres into a product that can be very exciting. . I wasn’t able to gather much information on the band other than a line-up and hometown. So, let’s just get to the music!

Take the opening of “Endeavor” as an example. Clean and alluring guitar notes fill the air around you, coming in and out of your consciousness in vivid colors. It is unabashedly pretty and sets the stage for the aggressive sound that follows. Heavy, thudding rhythms hit the ground hard, with incensed Death vocals, while glittering lead guitars sparkle overhead. The chorus brings reserved clean vocals and ethereal melodies. The dexterous guitar work is noteworthy and is what makes this genre so exciting. “Fade” is an energetic track where the balance of heavy, weighted and intense Metal is tempered so nicely with melodious guitar work that just fills you with warmth. The textures and layers they paint are rich in complexity and completely exposed and realized at the same time. This is outstanding songwriting.

“Mind’s Eye” is another winner. The melodies and harmonies shine bright, while the heavy, punchy rhythms and raging vocals burn with passion and purpose. I would be remiss by not mentioning the sophisticated axe work again in this song. The demanding challenges of this kind of intelligent playing are met by the hands of true virtuosity. “Dysaxis” opens with that familiar sound that this old guy remembers…a dial-up modem connecting to the internet. It goes heavy and deep out of the gates, like a black hole in space lurking around the corner waiting to consume unsuspecting matter. The chorus is big and hearty, and the chord progressions really allow you to enjoy the melody.

“Legacies” closes the EP. The alluring and inviting melodies that open the song are both sweet and touching. They seem to reach inside you and pulse through your veins, destroying the fears, doubts, and insecurities that we all have and replacing them with the glowing embrace of hope and love. Good music should speak to your soul, your plight, and your will to carry on. This song does just that in so many glorious ways.  You wouldn’t have any idea that these kind of compositions are coming from a band’s debut EP. They either spent a lot of time working on their craft before hitting the studio to record, or they are exceptionally gifted musicians. I am betting on both of these things here. DO NOT pass up and opportunity to buy this EP.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Endeavor
2. Fade
3. Mind’s Eye
4. Dysaxis
5. Legacies
William Alex Young – Vocals
Sam Machin – Guitar
Rhys Thomas – Guitar
Eifion Sweet – Guitar
Joe Farrell – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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