Becoming The Archetype
Dichotomy


4.5
superb

Review

by Thomas Carpenter USER (4 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2014 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Progressive death metal made accessible

Becoming The Archetype receives only a slim portion of their rightly deserved attention. Whether this is a result of their openly professed religious orientation or their tendency to significantly shift styles on most releases is debatable. They have remained in a more hidden corner of metal music since their inception, despite garnering a fanbase that has remained quite devoted to their work. The technical skill of the musicians in Becoming The Archetype is hardly arguable; however, there are many opposing viewpoints regarding the quality of their songcraft, and the originality of their music in general. Dichotomy should be more than enough to silence the naysayers, providing the listener with a journey -- albeit a spiritual one -- through various subgenres of heavy and lighter music alike.

Upon listening to the first seconds of opening track, “Mountain Of Souls”, it is abundantly clear that Devin Townsend is manning the production of Dichotomy. Stylistically, the music is distant from that of Strapping Young Lad and Devin's solo work, but the use of seemingly cheesy synthesized string patches is not far from what is heard on releases like The New Black. Cheesy is not always a negative though. In this case, the synth serves well in its accentuation of the “epic” descending guitar chords. This type of thing is repeated in other instances throughout the album, such as the extremely effective brass overlay on the breakdown in End Of The Age. Becoming The Archetype are very tasteful in the use of certain musical tricks, and rarely become repetitive or rely on a single gimmick to communicate their intended purpose.

The song lengths on Dichotomy can be somewhat striking to fans of other music in this genre. It is not uncommon for progressive music to exceed the ten minute mark, with some stretching for the greater portion of an hour. Disregarding the last track and fourteen seconds of the first, all of the songs here are very concise, remaining under five minutes. Becoming The Archetype never reach the level of self gratification in their displays of technicality. Every section is written with the purpose of the respective song in mind, with little to no instrumental excess to be found on the album. This is what separates Becoming The Archetype from many other like bands: they write with the greater goal of the music in mind, not the ability of the various individuals. There is seldom a boring moment to be found on Dichotomy.

The modern metal scene suffers from a particularly annoying dilemma: the riffs often do little to distinguish themselves and become memorable in the long run. It is hard to praise an album when none of the music is able to be recalled after multiple listens. On Dichotomy however, this is not the case with many of the songs. The breakdown in Artificial Immortality (“I AM A BEAST”) is not apt to be forgotten anytime soon, nor is the opening riff in the superb rendition of the hymn “How Great Thou Art”. Once properly digested, the music proves to be as unforgettable as many exalted classics in the genre. This is not to say that every note on the album is instantly momentous, as there are definitely parts that are pretty forgettable. Nonetheless, these parts pale in comparison to the number of extraordinarily catchy riffs and tasteful guitar solos.

With Dichotomy, Becoming The Archetype have crafted their most well-rounded and energetic release to date. The album covers a vast spectrum of sounds, with traces of everything from jazz to symphonic black metal, all the while retaining a sense of continuity and consistency. This is a seriously commendable accomplishment, if only for the pure accessibility of the material. Amidst the myriad of monotonous tripe currently filling Christian music bookshelves, Becoming The Archetype stand out as one of the few demonstrating actual passion and conviction, and make some damn good metal while they're at it.


user ratings (265)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Slimjim367 (3.5)
If it had been a bit more original in terms of it's writing, it would have sold the band into fame e...

Probably the last mimsy (4)
The best? No. Worth a place in your rotation? Completely....

Tyler Munro EMERITUS (2)
Lazy and uninspiring, this is Wal-Mart's interpretation of progressive metal....

Brent Stephenson (4)
Interesting songwriting, ace musicianship, great vocal performances, Devin Townsend...what's not to ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LIONFURY
June 23rd 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because I apparently think higher of this release than most on this site

Tunaboy45
June 23rd 2014


3157 Comments


This is good, pos.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Dopethrone

Emim
June 23rd 2014


26675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of these days I'll get around to finishing all the reviews for their discog.


On a more relevant note, this is easily one of my favorite metal albums. Everything is so thoughtfully incorporated and it doesn't hurt that it's a very theologically sound, thought-provoking album.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. Album has some of the best BtA moments in their discography for sure

Toondude10
June 23rd 2014


4432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't really like this album at first then I warmed up to it. Their first album is still their best imo but this is a pretty good record.

Nice review, pos'd. :D

Seriously though, why don't you post on here more often. You're an excellent writer.

Digging: Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal

ScuroFantasma
June 24th 2014


2527 Comments


Great review, very well written

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

LIONFURY
June 26th 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha, I just occasionally get the urge to write a review. I've been meaning to start doing it on a more regular basis

LIONFURY
June 26th 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha, I just occasionally get the urge to write a review. I've been meaning to start doing it on a more regular basis

Dryden
June 26th 2014


13238 Comments


horrible album

Toondude10
June 26th 2014


4432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

coming from a guy who hasn't rated anything :P Just saying

ShadowRemains
June 26th 2014


21566 Comments


simpleton

Dryden
June 26th 2014


13238 Comments


new guys on sputnik dont even kno

ShadowRemains
June 26th 2014


21566 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/image.php?u=782221&dateline=1403811186

Thibs
June 26th 2014


1732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hevy devy produced, this is a great album. fuck dem haterz

I AM A BEAST!

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Dryden
June 26th 2014


13238 Comments


Album Rating: 4.5


Digging: Thou - Heathen

Relinquished
June 26th 2014


25874 Comments


good dig tho

ShadowRemains
June 26th 2014


21566 Comments


sounds like another dude gonna ruin all the good albums

Dryden
June 26th 2014


13238 Comments


yet hes never actually listened to it

ShadowRemains
June 26th 2014


21566 Comments


he sucks dicks to its tempo

Thibs
June 26th 2014


1732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya true



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