Review Summary: Where this band draws inspiration from is easily recognizable, but it just feels like all this material has been brought forth many of times and instead of calling it their own, As Artifacts simply backs that explanation up to the key.
Why does a band feel the need to go all techno? It’s not even throughout a song or their main sound, but randomly in the center of a track boost up the synth and try to make things all sorts of “groovy”. In complete honesty, when a band pulls something like that out of their sleeve it seems like a cry for attention, like people are going to love them if they’re able to pull out their favorite 70’s parachute pants dance in the middle of a metalcore song. This was exactly my thoughts as ’Ain’t No Party Like the Donner’ hit it’s final minute, the synth completely took over crafting the corniest dance section stolen right out of any other electronicore band out there in the scene today.
No hint, no expectancy, just a random changing of style that felt more out of place than anything I’ve ever heard before. Welcome to the stage As Artifacts, and their debut EP Reclamation
. Much like the rest of the bands signed to InVogue Records, here is a band that feels like a reflection of everything else you’ve seen and heard before. Just because a band is bigger and playing in front of larger audiences, doesn’t give you the reason to do exactly everything you’d expect just so they can find themselves at the point their idols are at. In fact, it’s bands like Asking Alexandria whom As Artifacts seems to steal from the heaviest amount of moments from and it shows here without a single doubt.
‘Never Forget (Rule #7)’ starts off as a pretty promising little track, the synth backs up the music well and the opening moments are very energetic. This is all until all instrumentals seem to disappear and the synth steals the moment, building up into one of their little unexplainable dancy moments. It’s this particular moment though when my head shook like none other time before, seeming to steal directly from an exact moment in Asking Alexandria’s debut album, the comparison is without a doubt enough to instantly turn you away from ever listening to this band again. It’s not just this song though, every track here does something or sounds like everything you’ve heard before. From the all sung, electronic driven ’Pathways’ to the closing ’Threat Level Midnight’, the band does very little to give you a reason to stick around and see what else this band can pull out their shallow pockets.
It comes down to the overdone breakdowns and ridiculous lack of creativity that drives this band farther away from the listener. There are a couple little draws here, one of them being the surprisingly decent vocals. Travis Bartosek has a limited range as a screamer, but can hit what he needs to hit in order to not leave everything just flat. It’s really low or really high for him, but it’s parted enough to leave it from getting overdone or just tiring. Rudy Rosatti is the surprise here, the tiny bit of autotune he actually uses doesn’t do too much to help him out because of his naturally good singing voice. Yet again we run into a bit of a range dilemma, but it sounds nice and healthy. With a bit of work on getting a little more of his own style and maybe a better use of melody could really allow him to stand out just a tad bit more.
As much as I hate talking down on up and coming groups, it’s absolutely necessary if you’re downing a band that doesn’t seem to know who they are and therefore leans towards what everybody else is doing for a sense of balance. There’s just too much of everything here, absolutely not a bit of anything that would be able to have one classify this group away from everything else, and that’s not good. A word of advice, find your sound. It’s okay to have someone or something to look up too and it’s even okay to do a bit of this and that to show listeners that. Don’t overdo it though, and this is where As Artifacts hit’s the floor as nothing more than a run of the mill metalcore project.