Artist- Archaic Decapitator
Album/EP- The Apothecary
Genre- Progressive/Melodic Death
Location- Connecticut, USA
FFO- Daath, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dark Tranquility, Hypocrisy
From start to finish this record sounds amazing. The sound quality is top notch and nothing is left out. Every sound is clear. At times the vocals are a tad quiet but it doesn’t last long. Drumming is handled by new stick man, Gary Marotta (Xenosis). This guys drumming will blow your mind, both figuratively and literally. He is able to snap between melodic and heavy as balls in a second. Similar to a Martin Lopez (Soen) but with death and thrash influences. His finest trait would have to be his blasts though. Melodic death isn’t normally known for blasts but this man proves that they have every right to be there. They pound in so clearly and don’t stop. One of the best snares I have heard all year as well. But his use of his whole kit is also apparent and should not be missed. Air drumming to this has proven damn near impossible. Guitar duties are split between lead man Yegor Savonin and newcomer Christ Ridley. You can hear a lot of black metal in these guitars for sure. A mixture of incredibly fast up and downs with a splash of melody. No riff mimics the other. The use of keys mix well with the guitars quite well at times. Yegors playing is also able to really shine with a few well placed solos. Nothing to fancy but nothing boring by any means. Honestly it’s the black metal like riff-age that stands out the most. Vocalist, Kyle Quintin really has something to share with the world. He is able to use both a mid rangy scream and as well as some Nathan Explosion like lows. You can feel the darkness in his vocals. No cleans here. I could even hear some similarities to Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) in there as well. His screams have this little rasp to them that really add a lot of character.
Overall song structure is more progressive then melodic death. A lot of time changes and nothing sounds to similar. Which if you have read any of my past reviews, is a big deal to me. Each song has something to love and doesn’t sound like the last. Only real bummer is that this EP is so short. Something that I really loved about The Apothecary was the use of so many different sub-genres. Black metal is apparent in each track. But some thrash elements are clearly layed throughout as well. Especially in “Cruelty of the Host Star”. Just jumps right into the heaviness without a warning. But the guitar play in “Skyward” will surely make your hair stand up. From the get go there is this very catchy, black metal riff that fits so so well. Plus the best double bass on the whole EP in my opinion. I also appreciated the track length on each of the songs. A few longer songs mixed in with shorter bursts of heavy on 2 of the tracks. Random yes but I liked the how the songs complimented each other.
But yeah, this is really good guys. Melodic metal is not for everyone but I do believe this may change your opinion. Yes melody is apparent on the EP but there is not shortage of heavy and brutality. The Death metal influences are there. But each member brings something to the table. Something different that compliments another. I am looking forward to hearing more from Archaic Decapitator. They have something that isn’t around nowadays. Something I call substance. They have that “it” quality that is missing in a lot of metal. They are playing metal for metal fans. Not biased critics.
The Apothecary drops April 19th
Rating- 9 out of 10
Strongest Song- Skyward