Arcane Roots
Blood & Chemistry


4.0
excellent

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
May 13th, 2013 | 58 replies | 10,791 views


Release Date: 05/06/2013 | Tracklist


It’s not often that a band from a quaint London suburb with but an EP to their name beats out the likes of Framing Hanley, Frank Turner and Young Guns to claim the crowning “Smells Like Teen Spirit” spot of a Nevermind covers compilation. You’d think that a more experienced band would be tasked with tackling the prickly nature of a song already covered to death and idolised by a fan-base likely to tear into any deviations from/similarities to the original. Luckily for us, Arcane Roots had a few too many balls to sit back and play it safe, which resulted in the twisted mass of shattering riffs and soaring vocals characterising one of the few covers worth its name. Bursting apart the confines of the original in such a style that at times the song was barely recognisable, Arcane Roots proved they had both musical maturity beyond their years and flair to match their youth.

With Blood & Chemistry they’ve generally ironed out the minor issues with 2011’s (still excellent) Left Fire EP, creating a much more consistent and layered début full-length which is more slow-burner than sudden-explosion. This does mean that those incredible moments aren’t as frequent or immense (there’s nothing quite like “Rouen”’s chorus or the skin-crawling end to “You Are”), but big hooks are abound and convulsive guitar riffs-cum-breakdowns often grab control to dip the music into more thunderous territory. Touches of delicate atmosphere are also present (see “Hell & High Water”, “Slow”, “Resolve”, etc) through twinkling broken chords and so Arcane Roots manage to craft sprawling canvases wherein the music takes a life of its own. Seemingly separate songs spring out of others, such as with “Slow” and its soft vocal led ending (which is the best part of the song), or the shimmering finale to closer “You Keep Me Here”. Still, the band are at their best when going all out with the anthems, with opener “Energy Is Never Lost, Just Redirected” and “You Keep Me Here” sporting the biggest choruses and the former also containing some of the most invigorating instrumental work of the album to help it claim best-song status.

Of course, Arcane Roots are unlikely to explode in popularity any time soon. Infectious melodies are a staple of their sound, but their music has a tendency to descend into a math-like intensity which screams more At The Drive-In than Biffy Clyro or Deaf Havana. With post-hardcore energy, alt-rock accessibility, progressive song structures and math-rock riffs, Arcane Roots are hard to define, but their impressive musicianship and refreshingly high passion are already showing up many of their peers. Blood & Chemistry is far from perfect, but still developing their style, don’t expect this to be their peak.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


Stream: http://www.clashmusic.com/features/stream-arcane-roots-blood-chemistry

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

johnnydeking29
May 13th 2013



8970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YAYAYAYAY this got a Fish review
Would pos if I could
"(there’s nothing quite like “Rouen”’s chorus or the skin-crawling end to “You Are”), "
So true

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

two reviews already from this when it has only 9 ratings? listening to this right now from Spotify, so far great

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


Listen to their EP as well. I think it's on their bandcamp

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok i will if i can find it

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

o wait it's on Spotify too

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


We can keep this our little secret whilst everyone else loses their shit over The Wonder Years and
Vampire Weekend and TDEP

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, shhh

the new TDEP is awesome tho

johnnydeking29
May 13th 2013



8970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the new TDEP is awesome tho

Best of both worlds ftw

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, Held Like Kites drags this down a bit for me

johnnydeking29
May 13th 2013



8970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, but it's bearable imo

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, no big flops on this

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


It's ok but it's definitely not one of the best. Brace yourself though cos You Keep Me Here is next

johnnydeking29
May 13th 2013



8970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You Keep Me Here is fantastic, like...really really fantastic

Artuma
May 13th 2013



10251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening to it right now, really epic m/

tragic.details
May 13th 2013



624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, fish.
Gonna check this one out

mitch91
May 13th 2013



409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I initially had this as a 4.5, but I've lowered it to a 4 after repeated listens. Its a really great album, I just think it feels a bit over-thought in places, like "we need to have a mathy breakdown bit here, just because".

Digging: Bry Webb - Free Will

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XW7kEcw31Y

Cover in question

InfamousGrouse
May 13th 2013



3161 Comments


Holy hell the frontman looks uncannily like Simon Neil

Digging: Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2013



21550 Comments


He does actually..



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