Tuesday 2 September 2014

ARCHSPIRE - The Lucid Collective (Album Review)

The Lucid Collective cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 29th April 2014
Label: Season Of Mist Records

The Lucid Collective - track listing:

1.Lucid Collective Somnambulation 04:17
2.Scream Feeding 04:21
3.Plague of AM 03:36
4.Fathom Infinite Depth 05:07
5.Join Us Beyond 04:23
6.Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain 04:49
7.Kairos Chamber 03:18
8.Spontaneous Generation 04:44


For the recent successes of technical death outfit ARCHSPIRE to come into fruition, certain variables must align. Talent, drive, creativitiy, and absolute dedication are only a few characteristics one may notice about the group, and indeed many have experienced the bi-product of these characteristics:

A tight live performance, where impressive speeds come grinding to a halt, and in even less time twist and contort into complex passages rife with beautiful harmonies, juxtaposed against insidious melodies. An attention to songwriting, focusing not only on technicality, but originality as well, take this sub genre and put it on it's ear. And the combination of musical backgrounds, which is apparent in much of ARCHSPIRE'S music, showing itself through catchy rhythms, interesting riffs and arrangements, and progressive passages.

Pushing boundaries of speed and endurance set only by the genre's top artists, while remaining accessible and interesting is no small feat. These Canadians have proven themselves worthy of touring and playing with bands like Origin, Decapitated, Hate Eternal, Abysmal Dawn, Vomitory, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Aborted.

When all the elements required align in such a way that they form something original, and interesting, it becomes a catalyst for something new... and in the case of ARCHSPIRE, All has indeed, Aligned.


Oliver Rae Aleron - Vocals
Dean Lamb - 8 String Guitar
Tobi Morelli - 7 String Guitar
Jaron Evil - 6 String Fretless Bass & Live Backing Vocals
Spencer Prewett - Drums


Now there is something about tech-death that just sets my mind to boggle. Is it the ludicrously fast shredding riffs and solos? The arrhythmia-inducing drum blasts? The ear-shattering vocal growls that seem to get faster and faster with each new band that comes along?

Screw it. It’s all of those factors and probably more.

Today, Vancouver’s answer to a napalm hurricane gets the Sludgelord treatment. Hello there Archspire, and how are you today? By the sound of your new record – ‘The Lucid Collective’ – things in your world are dark, twisted, and ferocious. Lovely. In all seriousness, these guys have made an album with a definite statement in mind: WE ARE BRUTAL. Wielding eight- and seven-stringed guitars as well as a six-string fretless bass, their music sweeps the scales like Arnold Schwarzenegger sweeps up bad guys in his movies. ‘The Lucid Collective’ is as well-structured as a tyrant’s skyscraper, and just as imposing.

After my first listen to the album, the main thought that battered my already battered mind was: ‘Fuck me! That Oli Peters can sing!’ In addition to his startling prowess as a death growler, this guy is probably the fastest death metal singer I have ever heard: he spits out lyrics like a machine gun, and with just as murderous an intent. His dangerous talent is heard best on ‘Somnambulation’ and ‘Fathom Infinite Depth’, the latter of which fairly blew my brain out the back of my skull with its mixture of motormouth madness and drumming destruction. What a beautiful way to be beaten to submission.

Of this octet of obliteration, ‘Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain’ stands out for me as the quintessential tech-death standard. From its window-cracking volume to its guitaring masterclass, this entity fairly smashes other tech-death tunes down into the dirt and then steals their lunch money. When it finally disappears into the ether with its understated guitar and bass outro, ‘Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain’ leaves you bruised, wide-eyed, and sonically satisfied. Although I don’t advocate it, you may need a cigarette after having listened to it. Just to top you off.

2014 has been a year of great metal albums, and Archspire have made sure that ‘The Lucid Collective’ will grace many a critic’s list of albums of the year. It is a brutally uncompromising, expansive offering, with some genuinely surprising moments and some utterly skullcrushing riffery. Strap on a helmet and turn up the volume, Archspire deserve to destroy you!

You can buy The Lucid Collective from Season Of Mist Records.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Chris Markwell

Check out this track from the new album.