Review Summary: If it had been a bit more original in terms of it's writing, it would have sold the band into fame everywhere.
So after receiving the 'Becoming the Archetype' full length 'Dichotomy', I checked out the CD book before listening to it, remembering great tracks like 'One Man Parade' off of Terminate Damnation', I immediately went to the last page of the album art, to check the credits and see if there were any worth-while guests, only to find that Devin Townsend produced it. Excited and surprised, I eagerly popped it in, but to my surprise, the entire LP was laced with cheesy keyboard effect after another. The opener 'Mountain of Souls' opens perhaps the most cliche way a metal album can open, however, every song progresses quite nicely with time, and drops the keyboard or uses them more appropriately.
Most of the riffs on 'Dichotomy' fit quite nicely with the context of the song, keeping you headbanging for the duration of the full-length. Jason's Vocals fit extremely well with the rest of the package, a deep, guttural scream the soars above the rest. Jason and Seth's guitar ability has only improved as is obvious on tracks such as the title track and most of the solos on the album, which range from beautifully melodic to amazingly fast and harmonic.
The singing on Dichotomy is questionable as necessary however, the band proves they're melodic enough with the piano start to 'Self Existent' and the acoustic ballad of 'St-Anne's Lullaby', so the quiet singing in the title track is kind of useless, though a nice touch I suppose. The singers of Becoming the Archetype aren't bad at all, it is simply their relevance in the song, but then again, this is what makes groups such as Becoming the Archetype unique, the fact that they'll be able to throw in a calm part which leads to the biggest buildup on the album and everything will fit in perfectly.
The production on Dichotomy is amazing to say the least, however, with Devin Townsend himself filling the roll of producer this is only expected. The vocals, though deep and rage filled, are clearly heard, which gives the lyrics more power. The guitars are smack on time and at the perfect volume level to not block out the bass, which is audible, however only at some parts. The drumming has been made even faster than Becoming The Archetype's last few efforts, and yet it is still perfectly precise and on time.
Becoming the Archetype are a 'Progressive Death Metal Christian' band according to Wikipedia, the lyrics reflect this at times, however the major concept of this album is the struggle and fight between machine and living thing, man and technology. It was apparently inspired by C.S. Lewis' writing.
In the end, I would recommend 'Dichotomy' to any metal head looking for something new, however, they'll have to grow used to the cliche keyboard tunes to find anything catchy in the rest of the album. I will definitely listen to the album again, if not for the mediocre interludes and singing, for the built-up solos and the raging screaming and that great hook the band writes once in a while. If it had been a bit more original in terms of it's writing, it would have sold the band into fame everywhere.