Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Customize Your Third Eye - 83%

RondofedoR, December 30th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Unique Leader Records

There’s no shortage of talented tech-death bands swirling about the roster over at Unique Leader Records, with veteran acts like Disgorge, Internal Bleeding, and Deeds of Flesh aligning themselves with new-bloods like Continuum, Alterbeast, and Inanimate Existence. Those seeking blunt force trauma with a modern edge would be hard-pressed to find a better label, and lucky for us, the hits just keep coming.

Conceived sometime in 2004, Riverside County quintet Arkaik have returned with their fourth full-length release in Lucid Dawn, an intense stockpiling of surgical string-work and pummeling percussion that hears improvement from seemingly every nook and cranny—and boy howdy are there many. Featuring current and former members of Hatriot, Suffokate, and the aforesaid Deeds of Flesh, the band have enlisted the skills of three new players: vocalist Jared Christianson and guitarists Greg Paulson and Miguel Esparza, a trio that often lend Lucid Dawn a more ‘deathcore’ style sound without traipsing into (m)any of the subgenre’s petulant pitfalls; the grating tandem of roar/screech vocals is occasionally heard.

Similar to their back catalog, the overarching theme of Lucid Dawn seems to be of enlightenment, spiritual and intellectual awakening, and generally thinking outside of the fucking box, with the music serving as the furious vessel seeking to hammer home every idea via deliberate, fine-tuned chaos. The band coin themselves ‘progressive death metal’ on their Facebook page, and although the technicality, speed, and futuristic vibes present therein are more characteristic of the tech-death legion, Arkaik’s deference to groove, unorthodox patterns, and the intermittent usage of orchestral elements on “Fleshwalkers” and “Conjuring” certainly give this record a hybrid feel.

Individual performances are impressive all around, with the rhythm section of bassist Ivan Munuia—whose had a breakout year with new releases from Continuum and Insanity—and drummer Alex Hernandez-Bent adding the crush and the creativity throughout, ultimately stealing the show and bringing the house down with the mammoth closer, “Temple Aflame,” one of the more devastating head-bangers of the year. In the end, Lucid Dawn transfixes even when losing itself in its own cognitive fireworks, managing to subdue its listener with an attentive, savage, and profoundly energetic presentation.

Written for The Metal Observer