It has been a decade since we last received an album from the Southern act Becoming the Archetype. This Georgia-based band is known for their unconventional methods of banging out heavy riffs while proclaiming a positive message. Their last release, I AM was well received with its proggy frills and edgy tech cadences. They gained some attention for their unique ways, so it was a pity when they pressed the pause button in 2013. After taking an indefinite hiatus and going through another lineup change, the boys are now back with their sixth full-length record, Children of the Great Extinction (Solid State Records).
This trio has had time to sit and marinate in their creative process to come up with a way for this record to reach new heights. Which it does. A severity is instantly unleashed on the opening track, ‘The Dead World’. The throb and boom of the heaviness hits you in the gut and the magnitude of the instrumentation resonates throughout the rest of the album. The high energy sprinkled into the guitar tones and clean vocals give an other world vibe. Next up, ‘The Lost Colony’ explodes with a gripping sound from the percussion performed by drummer Brent Duckett. Former guitarist Daniel Gailey, who is now a part of Fit for a King and Phineas, lent his expertise on this number which amps up its intuitive intensity. The Gojira-like chug, thrum, and whine of the guitars draw the listener in. The engaging groove and progressive edge on this number, plus ‘The Hallow’ and ‘The Curse’ are like a gnashing of teeth that severely scrape and scream. There is a pleasant crunch mixed with inviting melodies that pounds and causes intrigue to sweep you away. Another guest appearance is from Ryan Clark, Demon Hunter’s frontman on ‘The Ruins’. He has popped up before on the band’s 2008 release, Dichotomy and does an outstanding job of complementing the powerful passion presented.
‘The Remnant’, which is the band’s original name, is a weighty piece that adds color with keys. The clever orchestration adds a sentimental element along with a bombasticness that hooks you in. The cinematic vibe is also felt on ‘The Awakening’ and ‘The Sacrament’. The raw, vivid epicness has hints of Dimmu Borgir or Fleshgod Apocalypse. The original vocalist, Jason Wisdom, is back and his pipes demonstrate an earnest depth coupled with an honest ferociousness. The cleans from guitarist Seth Hecox soar and sting the senses by tickling them with charm. The depth, drop tuning, and breakdowns throughout reveals their metalcore roots. Yet the use of cinematic elements, death metal, and electronics has evolved the band’s sound to broader heights.
‘The Calling’ changes things up by dispensing some black metal elements. They reach a grime and grimness factor that pairs perfectly with their machine gun-like relentlessness. There are so many movements that are joyfully jostled about with their ominous severity that is seamlessly bestowed. The thoughtful, instrumental piece ‘The Phantom Field’ allows one to take a breath and fully conceptualize all that is being thrown at you. The second half of the record is just as engaging and confounding as the first. The climax of it all is the final nine minute number, ‘The Sacrament’ which wraps up the incredible journal this album takes you on. Their discussion on the dire human condition and current times while still alluding to hope and salvation is a refreshing message. It proves this band knows how to be heavy, technical, and intense while still projecting positivity.