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Hands of Time (4-song MCD)
Released: 1999, IntroMental
Archetype are a melodic metal quintet from Ohio, USA who have something great brewing with their debut MCD "Hands of Time." This is metal that is played AND written well. A major strength lies with guitarist Chris Matyus who has created 4 songs that are upbeat, at times intense and complex with some progressive overtones. This is not the aggressive double kick pounding metal mayhem found on many new power metal bands that I've been lapping up lately. Alas...there have to be degrees of heaviness. This style of metal contains more melodic elements and switches frequently from the heavy to shorter (thankfully) mellower clean/acoustic parts. A few more double kicks and rawer sounding guitars would help this CD. Vocalist Chyle Vagner is quite capable but it sounds like he's really holding back as he never really lets loose and belts out. I think he has it in him though!! Someone should be in the studio with him for the next recording with a really hot poker prodding him along forcing him to really deliver a stellar performance...haha.
Onto the songs...as there are only four I figured I may as well point out what some of their highlights and downfalls are. The CD opener, "Visionary", starts with what to me does not make for a good album intro as is it's too mellow and funky...however the song is almost 7 minutes long and by the 1minute mark the metal begins!! Track two, "Dissension's Wake" begins with a silly bass line but when the the speedy guitar kicks in things are sounding great. It sounds as if there is some great double kicks happening under the rhythms here but it's way too low in the mix. This song is however the brightest spot on this MCD. the next track "Arisen" begins with a weak acoustic intro that is a little grating on these more metallic tastes. This sounds a little too radio friendly here. Thankfully the song eventually picks up sounding more metal. Of note in this song is the vocals. In a few places the vocalist doubles up on the vocal lines with a higher and lower voice which is kind of neat. The CD closer "Hands of Time" begins with a Iron Maidenish riff with some really nice work happening on the ride symbol.
Although I have a few reservations with this band I honestly think there is great hope for them if the band would just let loose and go for it!! With more intensity and time this band will open some eyes, if not in North America then in Europe and Japan without doubt! For more info on this up and coming band visit their webpage at http://www.archetype1.com/
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