BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE, I Am (2012, Solid State)

The skull:
So THAT’S why all those hipster beardos grow such abominable facial hair. Here I thought they just had poor taste, when they suffer from some kind of skeletal abnormality. Is there no cure? Perhaps a telethon is in order. These men need help.

The music:
Cramming together basically every flavor of modern metal, Becoming the Archetype are a tour through all the ways kids have shitty taste. Djenty polyrhythms that go nowhere, slam breakdowns, guitar “sweeps” that are clearly pieced together note by note, etc. To be fair, this is far from the worst modern band I have heard. They’re pretty good players, and they do occasionally turn out a nice riff. But, the vocals are horrible, the bible-thumping lyrics fairly silly (you can’t be hard-ass toughs and convincingly praise the lord at the same time, although it’s funny when they write from god’s pov), and there’s no evidence that this band even wants to distinguish itself from the hundreds of other bands doing the same thing. If you own a lot of bands with seven syllable names, then you probably already own something by these guys, and maybe you want another one. Otherwise, you do not want.
— Friar Johnsen


PROCLAMATION, Execration of Cruel Bestiality  (2009, Nuclear War Now! Productions)

The skull:
Proclamation can’t decide which way they want their skull to point. We’re back to an anterior view now. The skull’s dome looks a little worse for the wear — although sutures (cracks) are a normal part of skull anatomy, these look exaggerated by age or injury. This time the goat beard has spread longer and wider than seen in the Proclamation skull featured yesterday. Both Friars and the Council are very happy that the top horn is curled around the one growing out of the right side of the skull. Gnarly, literally! We love it so much we’re ignoring what appear to be two other skulls growing from the main skull’s cheekbones. They’re not fully formed enough to disqualify the cover under the “no skulls” rule, and they seem more like earrings or some other other adornment than freestanding skulls in their own right. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: this is important!

The music:
Well, Proclamation still sounds like a cross between Blasphemy and Bestial Warlust. And for the first time I hear shades of Beherit, especially in the vocal phrasing. This album, their third, is rawer, bleaker, grimier, and more distant than its predecessor, but geez, how much Proclamation does one need? As a person who owns and worships the entire Nuclear Death discography, I guess I understand, but those guys (and girl) at least, you know, evolved. Perhaps the fourth Proclamation album sounds like a mixture of Blasphemy, Bestial Warlust, Beherit and Queensryche, which would certainly qualify as evolution, but I kinda doubt they’re ever going to do anything new with their sound. Glad I delved into them as much as I have these past few days, though. They’re definitely upholding what Blasphemy started better than any other newer band I’ve heard playing this style. For what that’s worth.
— Friar Wagner