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Ever-arch-i-tech - Axamenta

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1 Review

Genre: Rock / Artist: Axamenta / Import / Audio CD released at Tokuma

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      03.02.2008 15:42
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      Axamenta's third album (2006).

      'Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture' may deter some metal fans with its bizarre and ambitious prog concept, unintelligible title and tracklist divided into chapters, but even if you couldn't care less about the lyrical side of things this is an incredibly entertaining and skilfully executed extreme metal album. Based loosely in symphonic black metal similar to modern Dimmu Borgir, though a hell of a lot better and less cacophonous, there's no reason this shouldn't be enjoyed by fans from all walks of metal, as long as they're comfortable with the occasional bursts of fast and heavy, industrial-tinged riffs and drums, and the harshly growled vocals that are nevertheless increasing in acceptability all the time.

      This is the Belgian band's third album, and will certainly be their peak, as there's no reasonable way this style could be improved upon without a radical change of direction. Despite the sci-fi narrative, this isn't predominantly a progressive metal album, though its more elaborate moments are all pulled off satisfyingly. In a way, it reminds me of a black metal version of Pain of Salvation, whose own Daniel Gildenlow sings the pleasant 'Threnody for an Endling,' the closest thing to a ballad here, a wise decision considering Peter Meynckens' talent lies in screaming his throat to oblivion and he's less impressive in his occasional excursions into clean singing from 'Ashes to Flesh' and roleplaying the central character in minimal doses before the spoken word finale 'The Omniscient.' This latter song aside, certainly among the more interesting for prog or Pain of Salvation fans but the most alienating to casual listeners, the album skilfully camouflages itself as a great black metal record about the usual themes, the only real audible signs of the change between chapters being a momentary return to a faster and heavier style and incorporation of the chapter title into the lyrics, something for the fans to look out for that will nevertheless pass by everyone else and allow them to enjoy it on an equally entertaining, superficial level.

      Ian van Gemeren's guitar is the highlight here, particularly in the steadier songs when it's free to experiment with great lead sections and classic metal solos, but the whole band works tightly as a unit across the frequent speed changes and dynamic structures. The most impressive thing about this album is the balance struck between the heavy and melodic elements, considerably favouring the former but incorporating excellent symphonic backing into all songs and serving up some great piano and acoustic passages in the interludes and elsewhere. It never feels like the heaviness is for show, or a masculine attempt to prove how extreme the band can be (something that turns me off from a lot of extreme black metal), and there's no reason this couldn't be enjoyed equally by fans of all metal sub-genres. Best of all, it's something cool to come out of Belgium apart from chocolate.

      Chapter 1: The Chainreaction is Initiated

      1. Incognation
      2. Demons Shelter Within
      3. Ashes to Flesh
      4. A Nation in Atrophy
      5. The Midnight Grotesque

      Chapter 2: The Chainreaction is Terminated

      6. Prophet Set to Witness
      7. Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture
      8. Threnody for an Endling

      Chapter 3: The Chainreaction is Saturated

      9. Ravager
      10. Of Genesis and Apocalypse
      11. Foreboding
      12. Shackles Cross
      13. The Omniscient


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Incognation
      2 Demons Shelter Within
      3 Ashes to Flesh
      4 Nation in Atrophy
      5 Midnight Grotesque
      6 Prophet Set to Witness
      7 Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture
      8 Threnody for an Endling
      9 Ravager
      10 Of Genesis and Apocalypse
      11 Foreboding
      12 Shackles Cross
      13 Omniscient

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