After grabbing the attention of critics and fans alike with their brutally inventive 2011 tour de force “Celestial Completion”, metal adventurers BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE return with “I Am”, an album that may prove to be their biggest surprise yet when it drops September 18 on longtime label Solid State Records.
Armed with what Metal Hammer called “massive songs, massive ideas and a massive array of instruments,” the Atlanta, Georgia outfit has forged a cottage industry out of defying musical expectations, pushing heavy music to its breaking point with horns, Middle Eastern sitar, choirs of sopranos and bone-crushingly heavy riffage. Suffice it to say — with four full-length albums under their belt, the now-veteran act has truly mastered the art of throwing curveballs.
The band’s fifth full-length effort, “I Am” is baffling first and foremost because it’s not meant to be baffling. As guitarist, mastermind and band nucleus Seth Hecox explains, the album is less about reinventing heavy music than it is reinventing BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE. That’s not to say listeners won’t find the band doing its usual mind-warping and genre-bending, but the point of this album wasn’t to transcend the artform of metal music, it was to master it.
“‘I Am’ is 100% headbanging riffs,” Hecox says. “Gone are the sitars and horns of ‘Celestial Completion’. Instead, we’ve crafted an album full of the heaviest and most technical songs we’ve ever written.”
But hearing is believing, and thus Hecox and the ARCHETYPE boys are inviting fans to sample the new track “The Time Bender”. The catch? Listeners will have to settle for only a taste at first, but can unlock the remainder of the song by spreading the word for others to listen.
“‘The Time Bender’ is a microcosm of the new album because it displays elements of what BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE has done in the past as well as elements of what the BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE sound is becoming,” says Hecox. “In that sense, it’s a perfect bridge between people’s past enjoyment of BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE‘s catalog and people’s excitement over the new material. We’ve been playing the song live this whole summer so lots of ears have already heard a simplified version of this song and feedback has been spectacular. It’s encouraging to know that so many people stand behind what we do and willingly follow us in each step of our musical evolution.”
Recorded with producer Shane Frisby (BURY YOUR DEAD, THE GHOST INSIDE), “I Am”, as the title suggests, is also a statement of an album that puts a new stamp on who BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE is and what it stands for following an inter-band shakeup — one that cleared the path for Hecox to assemble a true dream team of musicians around him.
“I Am” track listing:
01. The Ocean Walker
02. The Time Bender
03. The Eyes Of The Storm
04. The Sky Bearer
05. The Machine Killer
06. The War Ender
07. The Weapon Breaker
08. The Planet Maker
09. The Sun Eater
10. I AM