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Becoming The Archetype - Terminate Damnation - 70%

ConorFynes, July 5th, 2011

'Terminate Damnation' - Becoming The Archetype (7/10)

Despite some less-than-impressive experiences with the band and their music, I decided to seek out the earlier work of the Atlanta metalcore band Becoming The Archetype, having heard the talent and skill audibly evident in their sound. Although I was put off by the overly bombastic shallowness of 'Celestial Completion', looking towards their debut, 'Termiante Damnation' seems like the album I was hoping to hear from this band. Although I am still no fan of the particular melodic metalcore that the band plays, Becoming The Archetype's combination of technicality, diversity and songwriting makes it a wild, yet memorable experience. It is only a shame that the band's output would start going downhill from here for the most part.

Like so many other bands in progressive metal, Becoming The Archetype works the progressive element into their sound by contrasting heavy and light sounds with each other. For instance, it is no surprise here to have a sombre piano interlude be paired up with a crushing breakdown, or vicious shredfest. The dynamic thing rarely gives Becoming The Archetype the semblance of an original act, but the way in which they do this is well worth looking into. Each song is diverse and constantly changing, switching things up even within the constraint of metal. All of this is played with technical precision that goes well beyond the age of the band. For what excellence is here though, Becoming The Archetype are constantly held back by the fact that their sound- yet again- holds very little originality to it, which holds the band back greatly. Moreover, some of the more metalcore leaning elements to the band's formula (such as generic breakdowns) often do not mesh in well with the otherwise very intelligent way the music is composed and played.

Becoming The Archetype is indeed a Christian metal band, but it rarely shines through in the lyrics. While I don't care for the religious aspect of this band- and some in the metal scene may very well blacklist the band immediately because of it- Becoming The Archetype's Christian themes are not overbearing enough to deter from the music, which is very good. The definitive highlight of 'Terminate Damnation' is 'Elegy', a longer piece which climaxes in a stunning piano furnished finale.

A very good debut from Becoming The Archetype overall, although there are even a few issues early on with the band's sound that unfortunately would not be solved with subsequent albums.

Finally, a Christian band with Talent! - 96%

Damnation_Terminated, December 18th, 2007

As a Christian and a huge Metal fan, I was searching long and hard for someone like Becoming the Archetype... There are many Christian "metal" bands out there, but none of them are actually that good. Then I came across Becoming the Archetype, through a magazine in the States called HM. I thought I would check them out and ordered the CD.

What a treat was in store! This album is a true musical masterpiece! Even if you are metalhead who think that Christian metal sucks, you may truly enjoy this album from a musical point of view. Their is a great combination of a melodic death metal sound (they use pianos to great effect) with a very heavy and fast metalcore/prog death/technical sound to create something that is rather unique. Unique not just in the world of Christian music, but I don't believe I have heard a sound like it in the metal world. They clearly have influences from various different bands such as Opeth (as one reviewer has already mentioned) but they have taken that sound, among others and implemented it in their own.

Jason Wisdom, the frontman of BTA, has a deep throated guttaral shout that drives the music forward, and matches the heaviness of the riffs perfectly. And even when you match the apparent anger to lyrics such as

'Yet you are ever worthy of adoration
So how can I for a moment cease to lift my heart in Praise?
Your name is Glory
My song is Victory.'

it still seems to work. Yes this band is Christian, and in some of the songs (the one above is called "The Epigone") it is more apparent than others, but they haven't let that get in the way of their music. Rather, they have incorporated it so that the music and the Christianity merge in a fascinating way.

As I mentioned before they use piano to great effect, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the 11 minute epic called "Elegy". This kicks off with the usual heavy riffing, fast drumming and Wisdoms trademark roar. But after five minutes, the song calms down into a beautiful piano solo that lulls the listener into a chilled out sense of relaxation, yet doesn't seem out of place at all. After four minutes or so of this showcase of musical brilliance, the guitars and drums start slowly coming back in, building up to an awesome climax of heavy musical technicality.

This musical ability combined with awesome death metal vocals and good old fashioned heaviness is a constant throughout the whole album. As a metal fan I love it for its metal brilliance. As a Christian I love it for the fact that it's not another Christian emo band trying to be metal (see UnderOath...), but an actual good metal band who are also Christians!

The reason it is only 96? Well they have another album, and that one is better...

To Terminate Damnation... - 80%

brianiskewl, May 21st, 2007

After hearing rave reviews of this album from the Christian metal community, I decided to check out this album. The sound on this album is basically metalcore/melodeath with major progressive and death metal influences. One reviewer described them as Unearth meets Opeth, and I think he pretty much hit the nail on the head with that comparison, except that BTA is also rather technical, so maybe it’s more of an Unearth meets Opeth meets Psycroptic.

So, how good is BTA, actually?
They really sound quite good. The production on this album is top of the line, as you would expect from a Solid State release (Lengsel being the exception…). The vocals are generally metalcore growls, with a very few hardcore screams. However, my favorite vocals were the occasionally used death grunts (used briefly in: One Man Parade, Elegy, the Epigone, Ex Nihilo, and the Trivial Paroxysm), reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse. The drumming on this cd sounds good, but not really mind blowing or anything like that. I can’t make much comment about the bass on this cd because I generally couldn’t hear it, but if it is anywhere as good as the guitar, then it is excellent. My favorite part of this cd is definitely the guitars. BTA has three guitarists, so there are a lot of things going on with the guitars. They go from super heavy death metal riffs, to more melodic riffs. Almost every riff has some awesome technical parts to it. There are also some great solos on here, that all sound very different from each other (but still go well with the song). The solo in “The Epigone” has a southern rock vibe to it, but the solo in “No Fall too Far” sounds similar to the one in Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. The acoustic guitar parts in this album are also excellent, especially in the instrumental “Night’s Sorrow”.

When all these elements are added together (along with great lyrics and excellent hand drawn cover art), you get “Terminate Damnation”. The problem is, is that this album is still missing a few elements that would take it from a good metalcore album, to a truly excellent one. First of all, the vocals get a little repetitive after a while, mainly because they are almost all metalcore growls. I would have liked it if they had added more of the death grunts they do so well. Secondly, this cd doesn’t sound too different from a lot of other (good) metalcore bands, which will probably make a this cd a no go for veteran metalheads. In my opinion, this cd received maybe a tad too much hype from the Christian metal community.

In conclusion, I would say that this cd is good, even if it’s not ground breaking. I think that most metalheads will get at least some enjoyment out of listening to this cd (especially the epic song“Elegy”). This cd gets an 80%, and a thumbs up from me.

This is true Melodic Death metal! - 95%

ThrashingMetal, November 25th, 2006

I bought this album because I wanted to listen to some good metal that was about God instead of the usual "blah blah hail satan blah blah". I spent a good chunk of change on this album, but it was totally worth it! The vocals are powerful to say the least, the guitars are insanely good, and the instrumentals aren't bad either. Prepare to "Terminate Damnation" with this album!

The music itself focuses on being crushing, and then very soft. The instrumentals are anything but metal, and besides the full-length instrumental tracks, there's usually at least 2 on each track with lyrics. They strangely work somehow right in the middle of some of the heaviest music you'll ever hear in your life. There's only aggressive vocals, meaning that the interludes are left without any lyrics. This works perfectly especially since most songs feature a very soft little interlude, then this huge shriek of aggresion that will scare any fan of Pop music. The guitars on here would make Sabbath proud as would this album in general!

The vocals range from Metalcore shouts and screams to real "death-grunts", something most current Melodic Death metal bands lack. They are very powerful, and without following with the lyric sheet, you wouldn't know what the artist is saying. They certainly don't sound like a Christian band at all. I thought As I Lay Dying were cool, but these guys are far superior in the vocal area. This definately isn't another "run-of-the-mill" Hardcore band; these guys are metal!

I highly urge any fan of Arch Enemy, the Autumn Offering, or other Melodic Death metal bands to pick this up! This will also suit any Christian metalhead or really any fan of Death metal. Pick this up right now and be blown away by sheer metal! You won't regret it. May God have mercy on our souls.

Best Solid State band in 2005 - 92%

post_scriptum, September 9th, 2005

WARNING : If you're used to the metalcore bands playing on Solid State records, THIS IS NOT METALCORE.

Becoming the Archetype is the one of the most recent band signed on Solid State records. I swear the label needed it. After a not so good Extol release and Living Sacrifice splitting up, the label really needed a metal band to keep his image.

First track is "March of the Dead". It's an instrumental track and synth is playing most of the time. Add a little bit of drums and an epic feel to it and there you have it. It's kinda good for an intro song, considering that I don't usually like them much.

Second song is "Into Oblivion". From the first seconds of this song, you'll know that this album will be good. The song starts with a standard melodic death metal passage. The nicest part is mainly the accoustic guitar part in the middle of the song, it then builds up to the melodic death metal they played earlier, then a nice little solo is played and finally comes back to the style of the beginning of the song. Add a breakdown (oh well) and nice blast beats and there you have the second song.

Song #3 is "One Man Parade" and is your standard melodic death metal track, except for the sweet death metal vocals when the song starts (because most of the time, the singer has a kind of half-metalcore half-death metal voice). This song has some nice riffs and maybe a relatively fast finger-picking part (I'm no guitar expert, so I might be wrong). The ending is quite surpising but that's what I like best about this song.

"Elegy" is next. Now this is the song you have to listen to if you want to know what BTA capable of. The most epic song of the album is a 3 parts piece. The first part is called "Deception" and is the part with lyrics. It also has some of the best riffs I've ever heard with a very strong epic feel related to them. We can also hear Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter doing some guest vocals (I couldn't care less, haha). The ending of the first part is quite awesome like the rest of it anyway. The second part is called "Lament" and is instrumental, it starts with a piano playing (some might consider that as cheesy or something, but I find it very beautiful) and it will be the center of attention for half of this part, then they start playing guitar along with the piano and I guess it represents pretty well the idea of "Lament". The third part starts and you still hear the piano but it doesn't take a long time before you start hearing drums and guitar playing and then the piano finally kinda melts in the sound of the guitar/bass/drum until you can't hear it at all. The song has a circular kind of effect especially because the end of last part ends with a riff they played earlier, but they put emphasis on it and make it sound heavier.

Next song is "Night's Sorrow". I mean... wow... this is the only instrumental song of the album but it's so good, I can't even describe it. Easily one of the best songs on the album. It's played entirely with an accoustic guitar.

Track #6 is "The Epigone". If you know what CCM is, well this is what the song is, minus the cheese and plus metal. If you're not christian, well it doesn't really matter because the song clearly kicks asses. Nice synth intro that fades out to let you only hear the metal that is BTA. Another breakdown and then a line that is sung by the whole band that always makes me shiver until the end of the song. But before the song ends, you'll be able to listen to a nice jazzy solo, which is always nice to hear, of course.

Track #7 is "Beyond Adaptation". The song starts with a fast riff and the song stays at the same speed until half of the song. This song is only 2:34 minutes long, so I don't have much to say about it except that it contains enough good stuff to consider it being one of the best songs.

Next song is "No Fall Too Far". I've heard the demo version of it before but the song sounds so much better with good production! I like the intro and the dual guitar thing they do (I hope this is how we call it). This is good guitar playing again, fast, precise riffs. The middle part is a big breakdown, then they return to the nice metal they were playing. After that, the solo starts and what is different about it is mainly the fact that he uses a different kind of effect he used on the other solos. Finally comes back to the riff of the beginning.

Song #9 is "Ex Nihilo". The guitar intro part is (if I'm not mistaken) played by touching the strings on the frets only, so that it adds a bizarre feel to the song. A melodic death metal part follows the intro. Another good solo and another breakdown. I understand why they put this song almost at the end of the record, it's probably one of my least favorite song on the album, eventhough it contains some nice elements, like the many solos and the ending when the singer yells "OUT OF NOTHING, A NEW CREATION".

The second to last song is "Denouement" and it's really the denouement of the album, it's a short instrumental song, the only words you have to remember are mellow, accoustic, guitar, piano, drums and bass.

The last song! "The Trivial Paroxysm" is probably the song that has the more styles played of the whole album and that's mainly what makes it good. I like it when bands finish an album with a strong track.

So if you're a fan of melodic death metal that isn't boring, if you're a fan of christian metal or if you don't mind a couple breakdowns (I was never really bothered by them), this album is for you. Something worth mentioning is that we can actually hear the bass being played throughout the album and it's pretty rare I can easily hear the bass, so that's a really good point. Another thing is the wonderful cover art done by Dan Seagrave who did covers for Gorguts, Edge of Sanity, Morbid Angel, Suffocation, etc.
Finally what I really like about this album is the fact that it contains GOOD music. It's been a while since I've heard an album (done by a christian band) with so much talent in it.