Archspire is a canadian technical death metal band that I’ve been following for a few years now. Their first record All Shall Align was released in 2011 and has, even though it’s a gem in the tech. death genre if you ask me, never quite received the spotlight it deserves.
I knew that these guys had been working on a new album over the past couple years, but it still surprised me that they released their sophomore record now, since it was kind of out of the blue for me. Nonetheless I was very excited to hear some new material from these guys.
The first thing that stuck out to me when I gave their latest record a listen was that they changed their production a little bit. The drums seem to have a more flat sound with less punch compared to their previous record.
The biggest improvement I hear on this record though, is the vocal variety. Oli still mostly keeps his mid ranged, fast paced shout, but will often throw in a few screamed words. And his screams are a pure pleasure to listen to, let me tell you. The ferocity and energy he puts into them is really stunning. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about his deeper growls that kind of remind me of the growls Wormed’s vocalist would do. They have some kind of inhale sound to them that just turns me off.
They also changed their songwriting a bit in the sense that they now have a lot more intro and outro passages, instead of just jumping into the song as they used to. I, personally, am a bit torn about that decision since I like bands that come straight to the point, but I can understand their ambition to kind of flesh out their music in that regard.
Other than that there isn’t that much more to say about this record. It seems that the band feels content with the sound they produce and just try to polish it even further, which they succeed at, if you ask me.