Do You Hear Me, Major Tom?

July 31, 2015


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Listen to Archivist

If you enjoyed listening to the latest Vattnet Viskar, than I may have another one for you here. Meet Archivist, a post-metal and sludge group with just a touch of black metal to their sound. Members hail from Austria, England, and Germany; coming together to create something they aptly describe as "ethereal." The concept follows the last survivor of Earth after stowing away on an escape pod. You can read the full introduction on the album page, but this is another case of the music speaking just fine for itself.

The instrumentation skillfully unites some of the best elements from top releases in 2015 Energetic, frenetic drumming a la Bosse-De-Nage? Check. Gorgeous post-rock guitar melodies akin to Vattnet Viskar and Ghost Bath? Check. Engaging, emotive post-hardcore vocals somewhere between Anopheli (Alex is on this btw) and Wovoka? Check. All of this wrapped up in an atmospheric, progressive package that is quite magnificent in scope.

Verily, the resulting sound is massive: like a tsunami casting a shadow over a major city. The aesthetic is fittingly tragic, but the constant handle on hooks and dynamics provide a sense of hope as well. Arrangements rise and fall from moody, clean guitar and piano to avalanches of cathartic distortion and drums. "Escape Velocity" really lives up to its name, utilizing the latter to constantly build momentum. Vocals shout their way into your very being with a sense of immediacy and despair. The blastbeats and harsher vocals of tracks like "Hades" tumble into the post-black sound best known from USBM groups, but only flirt with the style long enough to set up the next transition. The jump on this track to clean singing and, in turn, a woeful building of noise is just one of my many favorites.

If you like any of the genres or groups I've mentioned in this review, then Archivist is likely for you. So much ground is covered in these 8 songs, and all while maintaining an appeal that could work for metal and no-metal fans alike. It's experiential, but never at the sacrifice of able songwriting. Quite to the contrary, these compositions are overflowing with varied elements that come together to form something endlessly engaging. Once again: "Ethereal." Name your price on bandcamp for a copy of your own. Don't be stingy.