Arch Of Hell - Arrival review



Reviewer:
5.9

7 users:
5.71
Band: Arch Of Hell
Album: Arrival
Release date: October 2020


01. Chariots Of The Gods
02. Arrival
03. Nile
04. Sachmet
05. Curse Of Reincarnation
06. 19.07.13
07. Stardust
08. Follow The Sphinx
09. Ambrosia
10. Ungrateful
11. Vanishing Out Of The Earth


Not a particularly memorable Arrival

Death metal combined with some Egyptian theming is a popular combination. Bands like Nile (brutal/technical death metal) and Crescent (blackened death metal) have proven that already. This time we've got death metal of the melodic kind with Arch Of Hell's Arrival. So, what exactly did we get? Well, the aforementioned melodic death metal is mixed with some metalcore and a few symphonic touches every once in a while.

The theme of this record becomes immediately obvious with the intro track. It builds up the Ancient Egypt atmosphere and then suddenly changes gears and becomes a futuristic electronic piece. That latter part sounds like it could be part of a video game soundtrack. Still though, I kind of appreciate the fact that the theme is immediately told through the music. And that theme is aliens and Ancient Egypt. Aliens + Ancient Egypt, pretty original idea. If it weren't for the Stargate film and TV-series, the Serious Sam games or Iced Earth's Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1) album… As you might have guessed by now, this isn't exactly the most original album. Certainly not in terms of the concept story. And unfortunately the music itself suffers the same problem.

That intro that I talked about? It's the only track that has an outspoken sci-fi feel to it, and as a result it's one of the more memorable parts of Arrival. Don't get me wrong, originality doesn't necessarily automatically mean that an album is automatically good. It's hard to tell for me whether it would have been better if they added those electronic parts in more songs. They could spice up some tracks, but I also feel like there would be a thin line between it adding to the music and it becoming too grating. Perhaps that's why they didn't fully commit to them; I can only guess. But still, I feel like they could have done more to make this album stand out a bit. The elements that they mixed into this album don't really succeed at compelling the listener.

Speaking of mixing, let's talk about the actual mix of this album… It's not exactly consistent. The growling vocals are clearly audible in the production; the cleans, however, sometimes feel like they get pushed to the background a bit by the instruments. Certain things like keyboard effects are all over the place in how prominent they sometimes are in the mix. There are keyboard elements that I only heard on my third listen, that's how faint they sometimes are. The production on the guitars is solid, but the drums are quite top-heavy. On the one hand, that means you still hear the drums clearly in the mix; however, the downside is that they miss a bit of warmth to them. Overall it's a bit of a mixed bag.

And honestly, that's how I feel about the album as a whole. There are some nice melodies and drum parts ("Nile" has a pretty nice drum fill). Vocals are solid as well. The lyrics were ok for the most part, though the song "Sachmet" was pretty annoying; growling Sachmet 16 times in a row at the start of the track (yes, I've counted them) and towards the end doing it another 12 times starts to get repetitive if I'm honest...

Unfortunately, as a whole it doesn't really stand out in any way in the sea of melodeath records. The best moments this record had, reminded me a bit of the weaker moments on an Aeternam record. Solid but not great either. In the end, I can't say that I was impressed by this record, and the feeling that more could have been done always kept lingering in the back of my mind. Even for fans of the melodeath genre, I don't think this album is really worthwhile.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 5


 



Written on 14.11.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 42 users
14.11.2020 - 06:21
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Not sure if you've ever listened to Aeternam but they incorporate Arabic folk music into their melodeath, and they do a markedly better job than it sounds like these guys do. They released an album earlier this year too if you're looking for new suggestions. It might sit with you better than this did.

EDIT: I don't read good
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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14.11.2020 - 06:40
Grouch Douglas
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.11.2020 at 06:21

Not sure if you've ever listened to Aeternam but they incorporate Arabic folk music into their melodeath, and they do a markedly better job than it sounds like these guys do. They released an album earlier this year too if you're looking for new suggestions. It might sit with you better than this did.


He actually mentioned Aeternam in the last paragraph of his review.
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14.11.2020 - 06:54
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Grouch Douglas on 14.11.2020 at 06:40

He actually mentioned Aeternam in the last paragraph of his review.

How did I miss that lol
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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14.11.2020 - 14:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Seems those guys did watch ancient aliens, and read Eric von Derecken book
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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14.11.2020 - 15:30
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.11.2020 at 06:21

Not sure if you've ever listened to Aeternam but they incorporate Arabic folk music into their melodeath, and they do a markedly better job than it sounds like these guys do. They released an album earlier this year too if you're looking for new suggestions. It might sit with you better than this did.

EDIT: I don't read good


Haha, don't worry, it's a good recommendation. They've some really good stuff.

I actually have listened to Al Qassam. And I found it a lot better than this record. It's not my favourite Aeternam album, but it was a good record nonetheless. A lot more inspiration and variation is offered on it. And the production is also a lot better. So, yeah I would definitely recommend them as well to people who are looking for something in this style.

This one tries but it simply falls short in most aspects.
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14.11.2020 - 15:44
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by tominator on 14.11.2020 at 15:30

This one tries but it simply falls short in most aspects.

Which is unfortunate, because the concept of death metal utilizing various traditional folk elements from around the world is great on paper, but most bands just don't seem to have a solid grasp of how to either blend the two worlds seamlessly, or they get lost in the fusion and forget to focus on writing engaging material.
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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14.11.2020 - 16:07
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.11.2020 at 15:44

Which is unfortunate, because the concept of death metal utilizing various traditional folk elements from around the world is great on paper, but most bands just don't seem to have a solid grasp of how to either blend the two worlds seamlessly, or they get lost in the fusion and forget to focus on writing engaging material.


I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment. It's a mix of elements that has so much potential, but unfortunately the execution isn't always there.

A good record in this style has engaging songwriting on its own. And the folk elements are then used to enhance the song even more and make it sound even more unique. With a lot of bands in this style, it seems like they rely completely on the addition of the folk elements. And that often results in a record with material on it that misses that spark of engagement. Especially when you compare it to bands that do focus on writing engaging music first and then enhance it with their folk flavour.

I honestly hope these guys learn from this record and will improve with their next. Because there's potential, I think. They are good musicians, but it feels like they are not quite there yet in finding the right balance and blend of all the elements. Not all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen in the right place yet. And things like the production hamper the record even more. Hopefully in the future, all these pieces fall in the right place.
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14.11.2020 - 16:17
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Bad English on 14.11.2020 at 14:11

Seems those guys did watch ancient aliens, and read Eric von Derecken book

I don't even know what's worse, reading Erich von Däniken (yeah, that's his name) or watching too many episodes of Derrick. You seem to know both of them and that's quite disturbing, I must say.
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signatures = SPAM
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14.11.2020 - 19:56
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Starvynth on 14.11.2020 at 16:17

Written by Bad English on 14.11.2020 at 14:11

Seems those guys did watch ancient aliens, and read Eric von Derecken book

I don't even know what's worse, reading Erich von Däniken (yeah, that's his name) or watching too many episodes of Derrick. You seem to know both of them and that's quite disturbing, I must say.

Chariot of the gods are ok book to read imo.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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