Review: “Balance” EP by Arcaeon

It’s been 8 months since we first encountered Tech-Metallers Arcaeon. They were opening for The Arusha Accord at Reading’s Sub89 at the laters pre-Tech-Fest warm up show. We were blown away by their stunning live performance and swagger, this despite having no recorded release offering. In a year, the band will have gone from Sub89 to Tech-Fest themselves, having been announced in the second wave of bands as well as having had a one page feature in Metal Hammer Magazine. The band released a 20 second tease video before an 8-bit remix of lead single and debut music video “Fade” before this 5 track debut EP appeared, clocking in at around 26 minutes.

The EP opens with “Endeavour”, the longest song on this offering at 6:38 but containing an intro that could easily have been and indeed would have been separated out by other bands. The intro has a slow build, layering waves of progressive technical guitar work before some DJentisms appear alongside vocals around the 2 minute mark. The lyrics are typically epic with bold cleans and uncleans of suitable bite to catch your attention. Indeed the “Blegh!” Is a pleasant if unexpected surprise. The buried electronics also come to the fore with a whispered element that adds to effect. “Fade” then appears with unclean vocals in an opening that grabs your attention before slowing the pace into a beautiful clean vocal verse and bass line that epitomises the progressive experience before the epic chorus appears. It’s a song that has a sonic wave of clean guitar and vocal Vs unclean and DJent Tech-Metal power. A Jeckal and Hyde that isn’t extreme enough to snap but clever enough to bite. “Mind’s Eye” is the centre piece (literally) of the EP and is a real solidifier of the sound of the first two songs and sets down the benchmark for the bands style and sound. It’s again epic with slow build and slow fade. The naunces of the guitar sound and intricate guitar interplay will keep you coming back for more. The song than closes with a palette cleansing piano piece. “Dysaxis” intros with that classic 56k modem dial up sound before bursting into an unclean verse with guitars layered over buried electronics. At times there are classic Periphery and Tesseract influences on show but then the band will produce a breakdown and vocal that wouldn’t be out of place in a much heavier band. The musicianship on show is impressive for a band which haven’t been together for that long. The opening of “Legacies” sweeps in with a piece of lead guitar work and an hook that is really something else. The electronics then kick in as the band progress at pace through clean verse and crushing unclean chorus. The use of atmospheres is something that is really striking within the song.

On the basis of this as an opening EP for their career, Arcaeon have set an incredibly high bar for themselves. The band are easily able to reproduce their recorded material in the live area and with this they are going to be the talk of the progressive tech-metal scene for many years to come. “Balance” does exactly that, it finds perfect balance between the stunning melodies and soaring clean vocals while also delivering headbanging DJentisms and uncleans that keep your attention. All the elements are hear for Arcaeon to have a very bright future. [9/10]

 

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