I was glancing through recent metal releases to find something new. My sampling wasn’t going very well. I guess I was in one of those moods where everything sounded so unoriginal and derivative. Then I came across The Arcane Order. I had never heard of them, but they caught my attention with their heavy yet atmospheric sound.
They seem to be classified as melodic death/thrash around the internet. I can’t come up with anything better, but this can be a bit misleading. They have a lot of progressive and atmospheric elements and maybe some post-hardcore. Most songs are over 7 minutes long, which they use wisely to develop their material through these various styles.
The Arcane Order excel at shifting in and out of these different sections and styles while keeping a coherent whole to each of the songs. Sometimes they enter a fast riffing section, sometimes they have some laid back chugging under atmospheric synth sounds. Despite the variety, there is never any question it is the same song.
The harmonic motion is usually pretty simple, often centering around a I/IV or I/V idea. Normally this type of thing would get old in such long songs, but they create interest by layering in all sorts of details whether it be driving bass line, changing textures, or non-chord tones in rhythm guitar.
These long songs often build to some big climactic point. They mostly do a good job driving the song motion to these points, but there are a few times where they play too big too early which spoils the suspense. They also do a good job developing from their simple base chords to something much more interesting and complicated to keep the long songs from dragging. That being said, there are definitely moments where the repetition went on a bit too long (“Exo Reign” is my least favorite track for this reason).
Overall, this was a solid release and a nice change of pace. It is hard to come up with similar bands (maybe I just don’t listen to enough melodic death). I’d recommend this for people who like TesseracT. It is far less proggy and djenty, but the atmospheric build up is similar. I’ll give it a 7.5/10.
Here’s a sample: