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Archives – Decay Award winner

by Ben Gardiner at 19 January 2022, 12:21 PM

Irish Metalcore outfit ARCHIVES come stomping into the scene full force with their debut full length album "Decay", and they intend to leave quite a mark. Technical Metalcore combined with a great production sound and hard-hitting song writing makes this bands first release a big one, it is impressive how quickly they’ve formed and honed their sound with mighty proficiency. Brutality and aggression flow in harmony as wave after wave of crushing riffs, punchy drums and screaming vocals pummel away, turning violence into poetry like a John Woo film.

Opening the album is “Eulogy,” and what a strong opening it is. A patient, muted riff starts us off, before the heaviness is brought to the surface with an industrial snare sound and an expansion of the riff, joined by Adam Hollands strong vocals. The chorus brings a change in guitar pitch, into a grandiose higher tone, propelled further by the half time drums. The band takes it a step even further with a section of blast beats which sound great with the Ride sound and the bright snare. A strong intro track is vital to a strong album and ARCHIVES absolutely deliver here.

Continuing to impress with “Unity,” perfectly balancing blistering heaviness with soulful soft movements. It skates between making me want to sit on the edge of my bed and cry and headbang with my hands on my knees with such delicate precision its hard to convey through words. The drums slam forth full throttle with the guitars serving up technical melodies, comparably to PERIPHERY, whilst the vocals deliver an impassioned, emotional performance.  The final minute of the song is reserved for a gentle guitar moment until the song busts back into a life to deliver one final chorus of amazement.

I was blown away by the opening riff of “Parmaviolence,” a frantic noodling high pitched bombardment that just continued to get better and better, combined with an onslaught of drums that refuse to let up and the result is an energy loaded riot. “Fountayne Road” leans more into a classic Metalcore sound but is no less hard hitting and powerful as the rest of the album. The bass pedal blasts away, and the guitars are imposing in their complete command of bombastic melody, playing with tone like putty. The track ends with a heavy breakdown where the guitars toy with sounds and a final section that ups the pace for one last burst of chaotic energy.

A brilliant debut from Northern Irish band ARCHIVES, who have keenly demonstrated a burning passion for great metal. Impressive instrumentation throughout and level of song writing rarely seen in a band's first album, they have crafted their sound and delivered it to us neatly wrapped in a bow. Fans of STICK TO YOUR GUNS, PERIPHERY and STRAY FROM THE PATH won’t be disappointed.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Eulogy
2. Blueprints
3. Decay
4. Unity
5. Mindfield
6. Holding on
7. Parmaviolence
8. Mapmaker
9. Karoshi
10. Fountayne Road
Adam Holland - Vocals
Stewart Ferguson - Lead Guitar/Clean Vocals
Samuel Irwin - Rhythm Guitar
Paul Douglas - Bass
Daryl Montgomery - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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