Review Summary: An interesting blend of progressive metal, dual vocalists (who are brothers), complex rhythms and slap bass make this debut something to talk about.
The Arusha Accord, a 6 piece band out of the United Kingdom underground, has gained much prestige from fans of bands like: SikTh, Dillinger Escape Plan, Architects, Johnny Truant, and various other progressive/metalcore outfits across the UK. There is no doubt why they have so many fans from this genre when, although fresh and noticeably different, are a generic progressive band that sounds like two of the Architects vocals from Nightmares
and the guitar and drum work from the likes of Sikth.
Being progressive in sound they lack any type of concept in their lyrics. Most of them just have to deal with lost love but with some words like “plague” and “parasite” thrown in to sound a bit less generic. As a fan of these guys I have no problem with their lyrics, they aren’t bad but they don’t stand out in front of the melody or dynamics of having two vocalists; their vocalists are brothers. Having 2 vocalists who sound very similar is tricky to make them sound different and not just the same vocalist panning across left and right of your speakers. An example of this is in the opening of The New Face of Revenge
when the brothers scream in harmony and their different tones set the panning vocals into a wonderful and dizzying spin across left and right throughout the entire EP.
A disappointment with this EP is that it has a bit too much homogeny to it. Besides the slower, quieter sections the heavy parts are an overwhelming attack of sporadic notes and changing time signatures. With rising and falling dynamics the songs themselves are very well put together and enjoyable to listen to you are left with a feeling that the guitars sound too similar in relative sections: the low parts in songs are a bit overdone and are missing the silence that should be present. The augmented, broken sequences are well done and rival that of Pin and Dan of SikTh but are almost shoved behind the drums and vocals, even the bass gets a bit more of a spot light that the guitars. It isn’t that the guitarist aren’t capable of being the showcase it is just the songwriting has so much melody already in the two singers it would sound cluttered if the melody was the guitars jobs.
I find it increasingly difficult to give The Arusha Accord
a genre. They sound like Johnny Truant and Sikth with their vocals, and Architects are a very obvious inspiration for them, but they aren’t metalcore for one reason: there isn’t a single breakdown. When I noticed this I was pleasantly surprised because breakdowns are overdone, boring and centre on one mantra, to be as brutal as possible. The Arusha Accord’s unique sound comes from their dynamics, their slap style bass, their dual vocalists, and their overall metalcore sound that is missing a key component of that metalcore sound. As for their genre? I will say that they are progressive-metalcore and have made a great debut.
There are loud songs like Nightmares of the Ocean
and quiet guitar ballads such as Solstice
. The songs are missing that distinction between each other but are well put together and this EP is a must listen too.
Recommended First Listens
Death of Thieves
Nightmares of the Ocean
myspace.com/thearushaaccorduk to listen to most of the EP