Review Summary: Just as nu metal shows signs of making a return, Arcology emerge with an interesting modern take on the old style.
Arcology is the brainchild of former Tradjectory guitarist Nathan McCarthy, formed after the London djent crew decided to call it a day earlier this year. Originally set to be in the same vein as the old band, McCarthy decided to reinvent himself somewhat as Arcology ended up forming as a female fronted progressive/alternative metal piece which borrows ideas heavily from Deftones and other turn of the century alternative and nu-metal bands. This idea is a bit risky due to the flack that the old scene tends to get nowadays, but may also pay off due to its timing amidst a somewhat revival of the style that has been steadily gaining momentum in the past couple of years. Whilst this is just an EP that’s been in the works for a few months it is a very consistent release from the quartet of McCarthy (guitars, backing vocals, programming), Jordan Phillips (bass), Lolly Foxx (vocals, synths) and Onyi.O (drums) and shows enough variety to keep listeners interested in what Arcology can bring up in a full release.
The nu metal influences are pretty clear in this EP with the churning downtuned riffs that are present throughout. Title track "The Fall" has an almost Sepultura-esque intro which reminds listeners of the Roots
days while "Temptation" and the almost Papa Roach-esque "You’re Not Evident" show some very clear Deftones influence, with Arcology seemingly attempting to emulate the alternative metal group’s penchant for atmosphere at various points in these tracks. "You’re Not Evident" also shows Arcology exploring more electronic influences with synths accompanying the main riff in a manner similar to modern bands like Crossfaith and what Korn’s latest offering, The Paradigm Shift
, has attempted to do.
The members of Arcology all perform pretty well on this EP. McCarthy delivers plenty of riffs and hooks while Jordan Phillips’ bass rumbles along steadily in support of the main features of McCarthy and Lolly Foxx. Foxx’s vocal style may not be for all but she showcases a good vocal range and, when called upon, play off against McCarthy’s harsher vocals pretty well. The vocal production of this EP is leaps and bounds above that on Tradjectory’s sole album where the vocals somewhat suffered behind the instrumentation, and this allows Foxx to show off her capabilities a lot more, with a full showcase of her talent on acoustic closing track “Angel”.
Overall this is a very solid release from the new band and as they develop more as a unit and can settle their style we could be looking at a very promising young alternative metal outfit on the verge of this apparent nu-metal revival we’re witnessing. With a bit more stability in the lineup (having already lost a drummer and rhythm guitarist in the process of recording this EP) the band could go pretty far.