Beginning a new year on the radio is always a bit difficult. After a rush of last minute releases in December the music industry seems to fall into a deep sleep over the holiday period from which it takes a hell of a long time to rise leaving us filling our playlists with a mix of our best of the previous year and some old classics to get us by until the industry is back in its full glorious swing. However, it seems that at least one band did not spend the holiday period gouging on mince pies and breaking out the eggnog, Arcaeon have thankfully been very busy indeed readying their debut EP for our eager ears, and thank f*ck for that as they have just released a monster!
As with any musical trend, the tech (or djent, pick your fave jargon) scene has had some amazing and ground-breaking musicians and bands explore and expand its possibilities and inevitably this has also led to a slew of others riding the band-wagon without much to actually add to mix. However, despite the saturation of sub-par acts in this (or any maturing) scene there are still plenty of gems being released and some amazing talent emerging along the way. I’m happy to say that ‘Balance’ proves that Arcaeon are indeed one of them gems.
From the first listen through it’s very clear that despite being a debut release for the band, ‘Balance’ is a labor of love that is meticulous in its detail and delivery. There is not a second on this EP that feels like filler, every single bar or beat has been poured over to ensure succinct delivery to the point it is a razor sharp attack on your senses from its slow melodic opening to its final melancholic end. The Ep also has the perfect title, it’s entire length is a showcase of the balance of styles it presents, each song writhing between the melodious and aggressive whilst tempos constantly shift to match.
It all kicks off with the longest track ‘Endeavour’ which starts softly yet builds to a sledge hammer of riffs and snarls before opening into a ridiculously infectious chorus section, the musicianship if ferocious in its intensity at points yet never over-crowded. Lead single ‘Fade’ follows and is even more uplifting in its delivery whilst maintaining the intensity and diversity of the bands sound.
‘Minds Eye’ is my current fave (this has changed many times through my repeated listens), a more laid back and melodious sound for the most part, glorious use of harmonies and a mid section solo which sends chills through you! Next track ‘Dysaxis’ begins with a nice old skool modem before the barrage of aggression begins is probably the heaviest of the tracks yet still displays some glorious melodic moments along its length. Closing track ‘Legacies’ is more whistful and also contains a nice nod back to their previous incarnation as Clockwork with its referencing to ‘Shaping Infinity’.
This release is a double edged sword for Arcaeon, it has firmly cemented the band as one to watch: its a fantastic collection of tunes which you will return to constantly, however they have set the bar ridiculously high for themselves for the future. I can’t wait to see where it leads…
Buy it right now, from here: https://arcaeon.bandcamp.com/album/balance