When it comes to musical style and genre, Becoming The Archetype
is one of those bands that refuses to stand still. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia as The Remnant
since 1999, this quintet has jumped back and forth between metallic subgenres with every record they unleash for over a decade. From punishing progressive metalcore to medieval-style symphonic death metal and back, Becoming The Archetype
attracted a sleuth of new fans with every step they took inside the metallic realm. Having released plenty of albums over the passing years, the band has returned in 2012
to try out another new direction of metal in their seventh full-length record "I Am." With ten tracks, Becoming The Archetype
continues their march into the darker and heavier side of metal to create their most punishing album yet.
While albums such as "Dichotomy
" and "Celestial Completion" leaned on the melodic death metal side and "The Physics of Fire
" bolstered more epic and symphonic metal tunes, "I Am" is a record that somewhat brings the previous works together in terms of the melody. All of the tracks bolster very bold, raunchy, and dark melodies that would likely grab any metal-goer's attention. They actually add to the destruction of "I Am" considering how nightmarish and heavy they sound. "The Planet Maker" and "The Sun Eater" are perfect examples of this, and they are highly recommended to any fan of progressive and melodic metal. The occasional but transcendent clean singing and use of symphonic effects also have returned from the band's preceding works into "I Am." As a result, this album is one that should not disappoint or scare away loyal fans of the band. In addition, the boastful melodies that the songs carry surely will bring forth some new followers as well.
On the other hand, what separates "I Am" from Becoming The Archetype
's older releases is how relentlessly heavy and explosive it is. In fact, this album may very well be the band's heaviest record they had ever put out. Along with the melodies, another very noticeable aspect of the songs in "I Am" is the number of punchy and reckless metal riffs it holds. Tracks such as "The Weapon Breaker
" and "The Sun Eater" unleash crushing death metal and hardcore while the raunchy melodies play on, creating musically diverse and solid tracks. The bold and unclean vocals and the solid drumming are also aspects that pile up the heavy aspect of "I Am." The most recommended track of this album would be the title song, because of how it balances the line between heaviness and melody the best. It comes in with a symphonic introduction before it blows up into a monstrous storm mixing epic melodies with pulverizing metal in a seamless manner. Ultimately, the greatest strength of "I Am" is its diversity.
being said, however, "I Am" does have a few woeful flaws. First of all, the album as a whole does not exactly start off on a strong foot. In fact, the first three tracks are rather dull and repetitive in terms of song structure. While the melodies found in these tracks are no doubt gripping, they repeat over and over until they simply lose steam. Also, there are times when the music is just a tad cliched, especially how predictable a few of the build-ups to the breakdowns are. Another problem is the interlude, entitled "The Machine Killer
." The piano tune here serves as a great basis for an interlude that accompanies the rest of the album's epic tone. However, what really can bother listeners are the unnecessary and weird-sounding electronic beats. It actually sort of kills the track's mood and makes the whole thing sound somewhat half-hearted and empty. Thankfully, since this is only an interlude, it doesn't necessarily drag the whole record down the drain, but it comes across as sort of a waste of time nonetheless. Overall, "I Am" is a great record, but it's not without error.
“I Am,” as mentioned earlier, is definitely Becoming The Archetype
’s most pummeling record as of now. Loaded
with powerful and robust melodies and crushing metallic onslaughts, the band has taken further steps into the heavier side of the progressive death metal world since 2008 saw the release of “Dichotomy
.” The musical diversity and balance between the melody and the heaviness is definitely great for attracting fans of different subgenres of metal from all over the scene. This includes progressive death metal, melodic death metal, symphonic metal, and hardcore. At this rate, if this band continues with this type of mixed genre and clean out the problems found in “I Am,” they could really go even further with this new sound. Then again, for this band, it’s always been about change, and that is what makes Becoming The Archetype
such an intriguing and versatile band in the first place. And
with that in mind, it will be pretty interesting to see what they will do next. While “I Am” is rather far from perfect, it is a boldly diverse and powerful record worth trying out. The Beard lives on.