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Very interesting debut, worth checking out - 70%

dismember_marcin, January 31st, 2014

If I asked you “hey, do you think they can play good thrash metal in Hungary?” I bet most of you would just stare at me and think I’m crazy, many will probably doubt if they can play any metal in Hungary at all. That would obviously me unfair, as this country has spawned few great bands – Tormentor, Sear Bliss, Age of Agony, to mention just these three. But thrash metal? Aaaaa, no. So, here I want to prove you’re wrong and introduce you to completely unknown thrash band called Archaic. And I say that they’re unknown for a reason and that is even if the band has released one album for Vic Records back in 2006, it somehow went by completely unnoticed and I feel like not many maniacs have managed to hear it. Do your homework quickly then, because I can guarantee you that “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is really awesome piece of thrash metal and all in all even I have really enjoyed this album a lot. Not many bands from this new generation of thrash metal have really impressed me, most of them were boring and seasonable, with some kids who saw a new trend and jumped on the wagon, then released one album and quickly disappeared, because no one gave a fuck about them. I hope that it is not the case with Archaic, who haven’t released anything since “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” (the band is still active though!), but at least I know that their debut was actually really, really good.

Thing, which I like most about “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is the diversity of this album. Obviously it is mainly rooted in the old school thrash metal, with bands like Sepultura, bit of Slayer, Destruction, Testament… but here and there Archaic puts something different, sometimes maybe surprising, to sound more interesting that just a plain copy of the old bands. Sure, some people may say that such song as “Memories” is completely out of place on this album and just doesn’t fit here, but I have different opinion and actually really like it a lot, consider this song to be one of the best tracks from the entire “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead”. What is “Memories”? Well, imagine that between the classic thrash metal songs you’ll find a calm, melancholic, kind of doomy and progressive, very emotional and beautiful song, which may remind you Katatonia more than Kreator. Ha, yeah I know. It sounds weird, but “Memories” is like that. This is very sorrowful, melodic tune, with clean vocals and a lot of atmospheric parts, so it differs extremely from the rest of this album. But even if some will accuse the band for composing song, which doesn’t fit the album, one should not deny the fact that it really is well composed and performed song. And it is definitely one of my favourites here. But my real favourite song on “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is Tormentor’s cover. I love it. I am not huge fan of this band, but this song, played here by Archaic, is just absolutely awesome and I love it totally. Great riffs, total old school worship, great (again different, more shrieking) vocals… perfect. “Woodland of the Black Treasury”, which ends the album, will also surprise you, with its gothic rock, kind of Moonspell like, music in the beginning, which soon turns into heavy metal similar to Polish Hunter or even Metallica hehe… Hmm, I didn’t expect this to come, but again, I like it somehow!

So, where is all that thrash metal, you’ll ask? Ha, listen to such song as “Eternal War”, “Awakening”, “The Archer”, “Toxic Nightmare” and you’ll know hehe. Also “Thank You!” starts with truly awesome, classic thrash metal riff, but soon it develops into slightly different kind of playing. Meanwhile “Cornu” is heavier, almost death metal like, with small doom / death influence and more melodic riffs at the end. Ha, so you can see that so much is going on here, “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is an album full of surprises, but it all works well in my opinion and I really enjoyed listening to this album. Sure, it is not perfect, some vocals could have been better, I guess that the thrash metal vocals’ manner may annoy some of you (like in “Eternal War”), but you cannot please everyone. I feel like Archaic recorded cool album and that is enough for me to give is some listens once in a while and give it well deserved 70/100.
Standout tracks: “Memories”, “Tormentor”, “Cornu”, “The Archer”, “Toxic Holocaust”
Final rate: 70/100

Cool Hungarian thrash! - 85%

sHarris167, January 28th, 2009

I found this band on Wikipedia, then I thought like, "they're from my country, I love thrash metal, so let's give it a try, why not". I headed to their official site, listened to some of their songs, then, what a luck, I found a link on that site where I could download their whole album, plus a bonus track, the Russian version of the song "Tormentor". Too bad, that they've since removed it from the site. So I downloaded this stuff, and the first thing I realized was the coolness of the album cover. It looks great, even then if I would be asked, what genre could a band play, which has released an album with a cover like that, I would say it's a kind of a trendy core band. Don't worry, the songs have nothing to do with core stuff.

Let's say something about the musicians. Ákos Olt (who has since departed from Archaic) and László Püski are on the guitars, they have some really cool solos (like in "The archer"). Nothing special, but they do they job very well. Csaba Zoltán Szabó is drumming on the album, and his performance is also satisfying. Now, what about the bass and the vocals? They're performed by Dávid Takács, and this album also doesn't really suffer from the "no-bass-syndrome", which attacked a lot of other bands, it's clearly audible. And the vocals. Yeah, they're really interesting. He has some strange vocals, not the real thrash vocals that you've got used to, but not bad. Just strange for a minute. So let's say something about the music.

The album begins with an intro (how surprising), called "Awakening". It's better than the usual, "noise-only-or-orchestral" intro, it's more than an instrumental thrash song. It gets faster and harder, when it finally gets to the first real song, "True death of life", which starts with a really heavy riff. And this is what the whole album is about: heavy, fast, thrashy riffs. To speak about riffs, the best ones you can hear on the album are played in the songs "The archer", "True death of life" and the "Toxic nightmare". The guitars, as I said, are played very well and sounds professional. The vocals, as you read before, are kinda interesting on some songs. They are also various, you can mostly hear standard thrash vocals, but death metal ("Toxic nightmare", "Thank you!", "Tormentor", "Cornu") and more melodic, but melancholic and mysterious voices ("Memories") also exist.

Let's see the highlights. "The archer" is a song which has a music video made. Starts out with one of the thrashiest riff on the album, the drumming is also great again, then some annoying guitar moments, and you can hear the vocals again. Now this is one of the best songs on the album, and the vocals just sound kickass. No bullshit, just "thrashing like a maniac". Cool.

The next one is "Cornu", which starts with scary and doomy death metal vocals, which remains throughout the whole track. The overall song sounds quite like a death/doom song, at least until 1:30, when it speeds up a bit, but it never gets too fast. Note that these vocals are performed by László Püski. You can hear that he is really talented, and maybe he should be the singer of the band. Nobody would regret it, even if they would become a death metal band.

"Memories" is the longest track, and also the slowest. The vocals are beautiful on the song, and the whole stuff gets a bit more melodic than the other songs. After 2:30, it gets even more slower and melodic, but in a minute, it gains some speed again, then it all gets a bit melancholic, until 4:44, where the song starts again with that beautifully sung verse and the rhythmic music.

Don't forget about a cover, maybe the coolest song on the album. Legendary Hungarian band Tormentor's song "Tormentor I" is covered simply entitled "Tormentor". The whole sounds just the same as the original, except for the death metal vocals. The chorus will make you try to sing along with it, but it won't be easy of course. I can't say anything besides this, listen to the song and you will see how great it is.

So, as I've mentioned in the first paragraph of my review, there is a bonus track packed in the download. So, let's sit back in your chair, relax, and laugh a hard! Here comes one of the most hilarious songs ever been recorded, the song "Tormentor" with Russian lyrics! I have to say, I love to listen to songs which have lyrics written in a kind of Slavonic language. But no. This is a really funny one, especially the spoken parts are really epic. Don't worry, the song is still a thrashy one, but those Russian lyrics make me laugh every time I listen to the song (and don't forget, that this track was recorded just for fun).

So what else can I say? Get this album if you can, if you have no other way, you can still order it from their site for 1200Ft, which means something like 4.5$, which I think is not much for an album like this. One of the best thrash albums ever came out from Hungary, trust me.