After a 3 year absence Archetype have returned with their second outing called DAWNING. They last released material in 1999 with the well received HANDS OF TIME e.p. The band recorded what was to become DAWNING in 2000. After a short stint at promoting the disc they realized that there were problems with the quality of the recording so they set out to rerecord the album. With the help of Ed Tomecko they redid everything except the drums. With the CD mastered in February they signed a distribution deal with Nightmare Records and released DAWNING in North America. The lineup on the CD is the same as the HANDS OF TIME e.p. Chris Matyus: guitar, Greg Wagner: vocals, Jamie Still: bass and Keith Zeigler: drums.
When I first picked up the CD to review I went back and read the review that EvilG did of the e.p. over 3 years ago. From his review I knew that the band was solid so I expected a pretty good disc. I wasn’t ready for what I got. Archetype play a mix of progressive and traditional metal. I can almost compare them to a less dark Evergrey. Archetype opt to open the disc with the traditional track “Final Day”. Whatever their problem was with the initial recording of DAWNING it is not to be found here. Everything is crisp, clear and powerful. “Hands of Time” continues on with a more progressive edge. This is what Dream Theater would sound like sans keyboards. Wagner shows his vocal range as he mixes up his sound and adds an added texture to the tracks that is often lacking from less powerful vocalists. Matyus changes things up with “Arisen”. They opening 2 minutes have a definite jazz feel that gives way to a thrashing, galloping metal finish. DAWNING closes with the 12 minute track “Years Ago”.
I was very surprised with this disc. It is amazing that such a high quality act is not better known. The 3 years that it took to straighten out the problems with DAWNING have let them slip under the radar. The upside is that by all reports this version of the CD is head and shoulders above its previous incarnation. With the growing popularity of prog metal and distribution in both North America and Europe, Archetype should be well positioned to create a significant name for themselves.
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