Review Summary: Becoming the Archetype stick to what they do best but add a bit of experimentation. The result is a combination of heavy and fun with a high replay value.
Genre ambiguity seems to lead to many an internet flame war these days. Hardcore kids get upset when their favorite band adds a guitar solo or a clean guitar part and death metal kids bash the hardcore bands for their lack of said solos. With Celestial Completion, Becoming the Archetype throw caution to the wind and create an album that breaks plenty of genre boundaries. Most importantly, it worked.
For those that have already listened to Becoming the Archetype, you may or may not be surprised. They still have the elements that make them the band they always have been, but take on a more experimental aspect with Celestial Completion. Though some fans will undoubtedly criticize this decision, it must be taken objectively as maturation or at the very least an evolution of the band. At the very core of it, the band tried something new and went with it. For that, they must be commended. It is up to the listener to decide whether or not they like the new direction.
That being said, the best way to approach the album is with an open mind. When I decided to write this review I listened to the album a few times with one question in mind: “Do I like what I am hearing"” The album opens with a pseudo-orchestral intro that leads into what is overall a quite heavy album. There are breakdowns, solos, clean vocals, brass sections, riffs, and some great screamed vocals. In other words, this album has something to offer to just about anyone. Of course, by combining these elements, some of the songs include a somewhat sudden change of pace. It is here that much of the criticism surfaces. However, BtA manage to transition quite well throughout the album and no part seems particularly forced. The production, while not something to drool over, is certainly of quality and adds to the clarity and flow of the album. The instrumentation is not the most complex, but the riffs are headbang worthy and some of the solos are quite impressive on both a technical and melodic level. The relatively short song lengths help to push the album forward and retain momentum.
As someone listening for something entertaining, Celestial Completion will succeed. If you are looking for an album that forgives no one with its heaviness, you will be disappointed. On a similar note, do not expect a typical metal album. It is an interesting blend of many elements that results in an album that is fun to listen to all the way through (something that does not happen as often as it should) while still providing the energy and intensity metalheads know and love. This combination of consistency and replay value result in a 4.0 rating.
Recommended tracks (in order of album appearance):
The Magnetic Sky
PS- The riff in Path of the Beam is not really as similar as so many people are saying it is. Sure they have their similarities, but a rip-off it is not.
Stream is available here: