Arcane Roots
Heaven and Earth


4.5
superb

Review

by VheissuCrisis EMERITUS
October 17th, 2015 | 70 replies


Release Date: 10/16/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fire, Blood, and Earth.

The idea that one can be deserving of success is something which has never sat comfortably with me. Commercials and reality television tell us every day both subtly and implicitly that we’re deserving of this and we’re entitled to that; so much so that millions have become desensitized to just how ludicrous the idea of a quick fix or an overnight success is. For many, actually working hard for what you want is an optional extra rather than a necessity for success, and the thousands who graft day after day are forgotten. They’ve been replaced by plastic people on equally pliable stages, and they plead through bleary eyes that they were born to sing, and that they deserve at least the opportunity. The circus is over as quickly as it’s begun and it’s repeated ad nauseam; yet the grafters keep on grafting. Arcane Roots have no such sense of entitlement, nor do they have any inclination to tug on your heartstrings; instead, they’ve been quietly working away, virtually nonstop, for five years now.

Their 2013 full length debut album Blood and Chemistry showed a clear progression from breakout EP Left Fire, and Heaven & Earth continues the trend. Andrew Groves and company are reaping the benefits of honing their craft over a prolonged period of time, and rather than changing their formula, they’ve simply perfected it. Whilst melody takes a slightly more prominent role than ever, it’s never at the expense of the expert songwriting, and both the progressive and heavy moments which characterized their earlier works are still peppered satisfyingly throughout. “If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves” features typically passionate singing and well placed screams of anguish, and they’re delivered appropriately as and when the song shifts between its lighter and more cacophonous passages. It progresses beautifully from the opening piano line to its emotive conclusion, and it encapsulates everything they’ve been aiming for throughout their career in five brilliant minutes. The outro fades calmly into the next song’s intro, the quality is maintained in the next track, and it doesn’t waver right the way through to the EP’s conclusion.

The intricate lead guitar lines we’re accustomed to are slightly lower in the mix compared to previous releases, but that doesn’t mean that they lack potency. “Slow Dance” shifts from a soaring melody into a dense riff in the song’s infancy, and while it’s nowhere near as outlandish as the likes of “You Are” or “Triptych” it really doesn’t need to be, not when it blends so seamlessly with the rest of the band. Vast sounding chords are favoured throughout, and the cohesiveness which was hinted at on Blood and Chemistry is taken to the next level here. Each song feels dense, wholesome and refreshingly complete as a result.

It’s a good job that there are still plenty of musicians who are willing to pour tens of thousands of hours into their craft. If there wasn’t, then EP’s like Heaven & Earth wouldn’t exist, and we wouldn’t be able to admire the rewards which doggedness and persistence bring. I’m still not sure if I’m entirely comfortable suggesting that anyone truly deserves recognition or success, but if anybody does, then it’s the Arcane Roots of this world.



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user ratings (161)
Chart.
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 17th 2015


1368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey Sputnik, listen to this.

Toondude10
October 17th 2015


11611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I listened to this and it fucking rocks. Gotta check out more from this band.



Good review, mind-pos

Digging: Face The King - Once More Is All I Am

anarchistfish
October 17th 2015


26046 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

Digging: 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin - Without Warning

Krvst
October 17th 2015


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slow dance is proper epic

JS19
October 17th 2015


5966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is so great

Digging: Devictus - Mercury Haze

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
October 17th 2015


5904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Dan. Review was almost as if I'd written it myself, although the thing holding me back from a 5 rating was the shift, in my opinion, to slightly too little tech riffing and screaming. I know, you shouldn't need either to achieve classic status, but personally I'm having a bit of trouble letting go of bits like the intro riff in "Triptych" or the crushing groove of "Second Breath." But, as my rating suggests, not that troubled.

Digging: St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
October 17th 2015


5904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh, and "You Keep Me Here" still has yet to be topped. Hope the next album closer can accomplish that monumental task.

LotusFlower
October 17th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thats a sexy album cover

LotusFlower
October 17th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh wow the music is sexy too

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 17th 2015


1368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know where you're coming from Ghost. Those moments on past records were incredible, and I hope they return to them in the future rather than softening and ultimately lacking substance like say, Biffy Clyro have done.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2015


10179 Comments


i remember listening to their debut a long time ago but never really came back even though it was really weird and interesting

LotusFlower
October 17th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this needs something harsher to balance out how smooth and slick everything is, now that i've listened to it in full.

Voltimand
October 17th 2015


705 Comments


Never heard these guys before, but the post-hardcore/prog-rock tags and album art pique my interest, and the positive reception helps.

Digging: Gasoline - Journey Into Abstract Hip Hop

anarchistfish
October 17th 2015


26046 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

check out their cover of smells like teen spirit



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiMbdtMcNsc



it's nuts

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
October 17th 2015


5904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Sadly, Andrew said on Twitter that "Triptych" was his least favorite song off that album. It seems him and I have different opinions on what music he should write (and clearly his is what matters).



As for the softening bit, the climax in "If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves" is just about the heaviest thing they've ever done, so I maintain hope. He also said he loves playing that part live, so the fire is present.



But like I said, their calmer moments keep getting better and more rich, so overall I think they're moving upwards in quality.

Winsomniac
October 17th 2015


8482 Comments


Alright this actually is sexy as fuck

Nice review

anarchistfish
October 17th 2015


26046 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is a bit softer than their other stuff



best place to start is left fire

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
October 17th 2015


5904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I hope they can make it across the pond someday soon. Would love to see 'em play over here.

LotusFlower
October 17th 2015


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

of course it was sexy winso, would I lie to you?

NewBallistics
October 18th 2015


749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never listened to these guys before but dug their single they released to promote the EP. Gonna have to check it out.



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