Archspire – Bleed the Future
Archspire may very well be the most ridiculous band the world has ever seen. Having seen them labeled as “fastest band in the world” more than once, I was always a bit unsure what to think of them. While a nerdy part of me always thought that squeezing as many notes per second as possible is a good idea, my rational part seemed to think that might become too much. Having only heard the song ‘Involuntary Doppelganger’ from their previous record “Relentless Mutation”, I was very curious to hear how a full album experience from these guys would actually play out. And I can’t say I’m disappointed.
“Bleed the Future” is an 8-track, 30 minute beast that will undoubtedly leave anyone speechless, whether that’s in a good or bad way. To say that the technical proficiency is off the charts would be an understatement. It’s simply unhuman. Drums, guitars, bass and even vocals churn out the notes at a pace that would render an AK-47 useless, and even more so, they somehow do that with groove and coherence. That’s right, these high-speed maniacs have managed to make their craft of destroying the listener into an actually pleasant and engaging experience, one that at least for death metal fans, doesn’t even seem to take effort to enjoy. Or maybe I’m just that much of a nerd that I can savor it from the first audition.
Archspire – Golden Mouth of Ruin ( Click here if the video does not play )
The first 2 singles released, ‘Golden Mouth of Ruin’ and ‘Bleed the Future’ surely made an impression on me with the clever melodies and infectious sense of groove that was fused into the drilling technicality. While many may criticize me for using words like “melody” and “groove” to describe this music, I think it’s actually these elements that are the most surprising given the approach and intent of this album. There are bands who can’t display half the technical skill that these guys can and will still make their music more difficult to digest. Archspire’s tricks lie in clever repetition (see tapping lead guitar in ‘Golden Mouth of Ruin’), alternations between 4/4 and triplets, and constantly maintaining elements that solidify the structure and rhythm section to keep the sound organized. For example, while you hear the pedals and vocals drilling in hyperspeed, a lead melody may shine through with a surreal, evil tone or some cymbal and snare pattern may be keeping a constant pace. These subtle details keep everything on track and make sure that your dopamine receptors are as stimulated as your mind is burnt out trying to keep track of the lyrics (honestly, just don’t). I also have to mention that the guitar solos display the same ridiculous level of speed but balance it out in genuinely beautiful melodies.
Archspire – Bleed the Future ( Click here if the video does not play )
I can weirdly find differences in the songs that are quite noticeable. While for example the opener and closer, ‘Drone Corpse Aviator’ and ‘A.U.M’ keep the insane speed and strip some of the groovy elements to have the sound feel like a constant barrage of artillery, the previously mentioned ‘Golden Mouth of Ruin’ is so infectious with the groove and chord progressions that I actually found myself getting addicted to it, and it even has breakdowns. They also have a way of leaving breaks for effect where only one instrument is playing and then slamming back into the full band sound that always makes me tick.
And to top it off, there are the clever atmospheric breaks that deserve all the love. A clear example of this one is the middle break in ‘Bleed the Future’ or the beautiful, eerie, and dare I say slightly slow intro to ‘Drain of Incarnation’.
When we look at vocals, Oliver Rae Aleron proves to be the most ridiculous and unique screaming vocalist alive. His pacing and pronunciation is perfected to an absurd level of precision, where the world’s fastest rappers are slow in comparison. And he also manages to drop some insanely gnarly low tones when there are breakdowns, drops or dramatic moments going on. He does not sound even remotely human, just like the rest of the band to be honest.
Archspire – Drone Corpse Aviator ( Click here if the video does not play )
Archspire bend all concepts of what music is about and turn it into the most insane kind of extreme sport but they still manage to keep it enjoyable. For me, this album is a total banger but I can also imagine that they have a very polarizing approach that many people won’t even have the capacity to understand or enjoy. So “Bleed the Future” is obviously not for everyone, but for those who like their music technical and extreme, it is undoubtedly one of the most important releases of the year. Given that it’s quite short and one-sided, it’s definitely not my favorite tech-death release of the year, but given that in those 30 minutes they squeeze more music than some bands do in 3 albums, I can only tip my hat to these masters. Regardless of whether you like it or not, this album is worth your time just for the sake of experiencing something that many may not even think is possible.
- Drone Corpse Aviator (03:36)
- Golden Mouth of Ruin (04:05)
- Abandon the Linear (04:36)
- Bleed the Future (03:48)
- Drain of Incarnation (04:20)
- Acrid Cannon (04:08)
- Reverie on the Onyx (03:47)
- A.U.M.(Apeiron Universal Migration) (03:09)