Review Summary: Your God Is Not Enough.
Enter three men- Andrew Groves (Vocals, Guitar), Adam Burton (Bass) and Daryl Atkins (Drums) who have quite likely produced one of the most refreshing albums you will hear this year. Songs delve between screeching vocals, dissonant guitar lines and odd meters, infusing technical proficiency with catchy, melodic hooks. Then the trio combine this by throwing you into an abyss of lush guitar sections and warming vocals. The sheer complexity of such songs, such as the song 'Slow', demonstrate just how much effort these boys must have gone to to create such intricate but fascinating music.
Anyways, the music. The opening track 'Energy Is Never Lost, Just Redirected' shows the exact direction that the album is going in. Starting with heavy reverberated vocals and guitar, the five minute opener showcases Arcane Root's great musicianship, as after this peaceful section, the band hurls you straight forward into a fabulously orchestrated riff, showing that even the most complex riffs can be catchy. The use of changing dynamics and meters allows each song to follow a journey, with Andrew Groves' soft vocals compensating the quiet, and his screams really bringing out the loud. Groves' versatile vocals allow the music to take all sorts of forms, and although he does sound (at times) slightly American, this doesn't take away from the authenticity of the album. Even though the influences are there (The Mars Volta
anyone?) the band still feel British, primarily shown by softer songs such as 'Belief', showing a delicacy and allowing breaks in the album.
As a whole, the album works very well. There is a fine balance between the all-out-thrashing and the softer, more padded items, allowing the album as a whole to feel both energetic and peaceful. For example, probably the most aggressive song on the album, with the ironic name of 'Second Breath', is a screaming chaotic joyride. However, this is then followed by 'Held Like Kites', a calm, gentle ballad-like song that features not one distorted guitar, but a combination of acoustic guitar, soft drums, warm vocals and calm harmonies. This features nicely before going into the last song, an eight minute mammoth with a three minute outro in which Groves' speaks the words 'Love, you're better for me', allowing the narrative of the album to come to an end on a definite high note.
For me, I have personally fallen in love with this album. Each song follows its own journey, with not one song falling under four minutes. It's almost like a completed jigsaw- lots of separate parts that have been put together to create something of beauty, although it does take a while to get there. But boy is it rewarding; the songs blend perfectly, the screams REALLY scream, and the album plays out beautifully. Kudos to Andrew Groves, Adam Burton and Daryl Atkins for showing how three minds together can create some of the coolest music you’ll hear this year.