Customer Review

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars. No doubt., March 29, 2011
This review is from: Celestial Completion (Audio CD)
Where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose.

I have been anticipating this album since early February. The album title was released on December 6, 2010, and the lyrics on January 21, 2010, but the hype really started building on February 14, 2010, when the first song, "Magnetic Sky" was released. With all this hype, there's always the possibility of being let down? Was this the case for me? Not at all.

[scroll to the bottom if you just want the summary]

"Celestial Completion" starts with a song titled "Resonant Frequency of Flesh." I'm a huge power metal fan, so this was quite a treat for me. The track is quite theatrical with plenty of bombast, including string arrangements, opera vocals, and soaring vocals from guitarists Seth Hecox and Daniel Gailey. [5 stars]

The second track, and the first released, "The Magnetic Sky" has powerful use of rhythm, and masterful use of pinch harmonics. The vocal melody and harmony are well-written and executed perfectly. This song also includes a short breakdown [just short and complex enough to not be cliche]. [4 stars]

"Internal Illumination" . . . "Let's Go!!!" The opening riff is very metalcore-ish, but it does quickly move on to a prog-metal flavor with just a hint of death metal. This song slows its tempo 4 times as the song progresses, and this makes for max brutality. Heck yes. The ending is quite nasty... as in sick. nasty. awesome. [4 stars]

"Path of the Beam" starts out with a feel similar to "Epoch of War" from "Physics of Fire," Becoming the Archetype's sophomore album. The vocal parts on this track are all masterful, from Jason Wisdom's "lion's growl," to the nearly R&B sounding melodic vocals, and Daniel's high-pitched scream being interjected every so often. [5 stars]

The next three tracks were originally going to be one long song... but instead, the Archetype boys opted to split their "Requiem Aeternam" into three parts.

Track number FIVE. Of course this one has to be instrumental. Ever since Becoming the Archetype's debut album, track number five has always been instrumental. "Music of the Spheres: Requiem Aeternam I" certainly lives up to the reputation of their other instrumental pieces. Based around the piano, this track is very well-composed, haunting, almost. The sound effects add to the atmosphere, and the clarinet adds a nice touch as well. [5 stars]

"Elemental Wrath: Requiem Aeternam II" starts out with some lovely sitar sounds. Yes, sitar. The opening riff is dark and brooding, and the vocoder that comes in adds a nice touch. When the tempo picks up, so does Daniel's soloing - a great solo. The song progression reminds me a little of "Elegy," which is quite nice considering there were no truly "progressive" tracks on "Dichotomy," BTA's third album. The effects during the piano solo are quite nice, and the outro from this interlude leads into the ending quite well. [5 stars]

By far the darkest song on this album, "Xenosynthesis: Requiem Aeternam III" is a piece of compositional art. The female opera vocals singing "Soli Deo Gloria" [Latin for "to God alone be glory"] are entirely chilling. Daniel's high-pitched echoing is eerie as well. [5 stars]

Another instrumental interlude, "Invisible Creature" showcases just how far BTA will push the sound of metal. This song gives a nod to Ryan Clark, the art designer for the album, and features. . . the sitar! It also includes Indian percussion. A lovely song. [5 stars]

"Cardiac Rebellion" is certainly. . . interesting. The gang vocals and trombone are weird at first, but they really grow on the listener upon the second and third go-round. The jazz interlude and ska ending section are completely epic. Totally blew my mind once I got over the weirdness. [5 stars]

"Reflect/Refract" probably has its greatest strength in its great lyrical imagery. Structurally, it is superb, but as far as execution goes, it is frankly a little boring [minus Daniel's solo, which is awesome]. The song does progress more towards the end, but it builds too slow for my liking. [4 stars]

The intro for the last track "Breathing Light" is an interesting one for metal. It would feel quite at home in a modern CCM song [e.g. Fee, Hillsong], but it fits into the structure of the song beautifully. Daniel's singing voice is one of my favorite parts of this band, now, and one of my favorite parts of this song. The gang vocals and some rather boring riffs knock a star off of this song, but it doesn't ruin the track overall. The song also includes interesting tambourine and shaker usage during a very interesting breakdown. And of course, no Becoming the Archetype album is complete without an excellent outro. [4 stars]

Summary:

Becoming the Archetype has done it again, pushing the boundaries of metal into celestial realms. The lyrics are theologically sound as always and more poetic than previous albums. My most highly anticipated album of the year lived up to my expectations. Long live BTA.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 10, 2011 7:13:09 PM PDT
Upon listening to this album several more times, I must say, it grew on me. I don't think there are any 4-star tracks any more. As far as first impression goes, my review still stands, but be warned - THIS ALBUM GROWS ON YOU. Especially after listening to it a hundred bajillion times. Cheers.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 9:16:03 PM PDT
Calling "The Physics of Fire" their sophomore album would only be partially accurate because it discards the release of their self-titled album back when they were known as The Remnant. That would be before they signed on to Solid State and were forced to change their name. I saw them in concert during The Remnant days, they opened up Showbread at a small church in Kansas. I was impressed enough to buy their CD on the spot.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2011 11:37:56 AM PDT
You're right. But, it was their sophomore album released as "Becoming the Archetype," so what I said is true, omitting some details.

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 10:33:07 PM PDT
Lazarus Dark says:
I came to add a review, but I'm not really good at reviewing music. Your review was spot on though. Especially: ["Cardiac Rebellion" is certainly. . . interesting. The gang vocals and trombone are weird at first, but they really grow on the listener upon the second and third go-round. The jazz interlude and ska ending section are completely epic. Totally blew my mind once I got over the weirdness.] That sums up my feelings EXACTLY. I love these guys, I've met them and talked to them at shows and they are completely cool guys. And you can really see a lot of thier personality in the music. They are completely hardcore metal... but for them that means NOT simply following the metal party line, but really doing whatever the heck they want musically, whatever they like and whatever sounds cool to them. And that lack of caring about image is what makes Cardiac Rebellion still totally metal.

Posted on Apr 17, 2011 8:16:22 AM PDT
"The intro for the last track "Breathing Light" is an interesting one for metal. It would feel quite at home in a modern CCM song [e.g. Fee, Hillsong]"

I think you give modern CCM too much credit :)
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