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Some sort of a weird compilation. - 70%

oneyoudontknow, March 15th, 2010

Those who are familiar with the At The Mountains Of Madness release, a reference to the second part of this 2006 demo should make clear what to expect on The Great Architect. Yes, it is the dirty and nasty side of the band and distortion and reverb are the dominating aspects here. These wrap the music into a strange and weird kind of aura and aside from the live tracks it never really vanishes.

Epoch play thrash metal with black facets, but the emphasis lies undoubtedly on the former. Moreover, the music is not overtly fast or aggressive, but rather atmospheric and intense; this is especially fostered by the use of samples and noise effects. Imagine Voivod's Phobos release in terms of additional facets and their influences, but even on a larger scale and more extreme. At times the music of Epoch is quite noisy, while the live tracks lack this but compensate it with some amount of rawness. Then there are the interludes and the remix and their strange sounds and motives. To be frank, compared with the other two albums of the Northern Irish band, The Great Architect would be the one most difficult to describe. A lot of ideas, a lot of facets and arrangements can be discovered here and this makes it a bit of a challenge to really nail the performance down to a specific characteristic or style. With tracks that date back to a time span between 1997 and 2003, Epoch has covered a good amount of their existence as a band. While this is interesting, it comes at the expense of varying quality in songwriting for instance.

Final bits and bytes
Well, it is some sort of a collection of tracks that had been recorded earlier, so the listener will get an idea of where Epoch started and how they evolved over time. Actually, such would rather be possible in case someone possesses more of the band than merely one release only. Anyway, The Great Architect has its ups and downs, but it shows the potential and the quality of the band. It is rather due to adverse conditions that the outcome will not please everyone's ear than in a lack of skills on the side of the musicians.

To get an idea of the oeuvre and concept of the band this release would be a good resource to turn to. It provides glimpses of different facets, even some live tracks can be found. I cannot say whether all releases look this nice, but my CD was handmade and has some fancy painting on it. Overall, a special CD from a band that never really got the attention they deserved.