Arkangel and Community Trust…Posted on Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 @ 11:44am » permalink
I honestly didn't know that Arkangel (Belgium) was still around, and I'm not even sure I've heard anything the band has done since their debut 10" back in 1998. "Hope You Die by Overdose" was actually originally released quite some time ago by the band on their own label, but it was recently licensed to God's Child Music for Japan, Korea, China, etc. – and that's how it made its way to me. But then again, this is only the band's second full-length in eight years, so it's not like they're the most prolific act on earth… so I guess I can be forgiven for being unaware of their current activities? Whatever the case, this thing opens with a pretty powerful little melodic instrumental track before getting down to business and proving that Arkangel's still cranking out an intense brand of European metalcore with absolutely scathing vocals. I'm talking completely over the top screams with no fucking remorse – totally nuts. The frontman definitely gives these guys an edge, because I have to confess that musically this style of metalcore can sometimes get tiresome due to all of the tremolo picking riffs, though I have to give Arkangel credit on a few fronts. First of all, they generally keep the tracks short, so the majority of these songs run around three minutes apiece. They also keep things moving along, so even though there's a heavy reliance on chugging tremolo picking riffs, they break up the monotony with lots of churning midpaced breaks and minor shifts in tempo, so there's sort of an All Out War thing going on to some degree. But beyond all that, I seem to remember that these cats were definitely one of the first bands, even in the European scene, to really amp things up and throw a significant death metal sounding influence into the metalcore realm. Perhaps they were even a little ahead of their time in that regard, since this form of material could kind of take you aback during the start of the late-90's. Many bands have tried their hands at this style in the last decade and simply missed the mark, but Arkangel still has a pretty damn vicious bite.
I'm loving those fucking vocals. Pick this shit up and feel the burn: