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Becoming The Archetype - Dichotomy - 60%

ConorFynes, December 9th, 2011

Becoming The Archetype is a band that I have seen glimmers of brilliance in, but they have never managed to really grab my imagination and run with it. 'Terminate Damnation' showed this Atlanta-based metalcore act coming onto the scene full of potential, but their following records have never really lived up to that debut. 'Dichotomy' comes close, and being the second best album from the band, it manages to spark some interest in me even after listening to it. For all of the talent, brilliant ideas and it being produced by one of the most creative minds in metal however, this album only manages to give a decent, rather than an excellent experience.

'Mountain Of Souls' shows the band at their best, going heavy on the riffs, but making sure to include ambiance and detail in the sounds. This may be in no small part due to the production talents of one Devin Townsend, best known for his fronting of Strapping Young Lad, and a keen solo career. He has a line or two of singing in 'Mountain Of Souls', and it really helps to tie Becoming The Archetype in with an artist who I really love, although on their own merits, the band does a great job here as well. It really impresses me that within the course of a single song, the band is able to span from metal to Indian raga music, to a jazzy instrumental break. Unfortunately, this sort of quality pops up only intermittently throughout the rest of this album.

A point of controversy that arises from this band is their Christian leanings and religiously- inclined lyrics. While this does not necessarily mean that the music will be bad (I have a good deal of respect for prog songster Neal Morse, who touches upon his beliefs quite a bit), the Christian overtones in 'Dichotomy' are very poorly disguised, to the point that they are somewhat tasteless. Hearing a grimy breakdown with guttural vocals screaming 'Hallelujah' is laughable at best, and while others in the metal scene may have an even bigger bone to pick with the Christian references, its clear to me that if the band wants to cover such a controversial religious stance in a genre that generally refutes it, they are going to have to be alot more clever about it.

The musicianship here is very good, and I find myself impressed by what Becoming The Archetype has to offer in parts. However, 'Dichotomy' does not give the listener a consistent dose of their greatness, being bogged down by some fairly poignant weaknesses.