Thursday, 24 March 2011

CD Review: End Of The Weakness, by Archeon (2005)

The classical-inspired melodies are sharp, the solos are crisp, the energy level is high and unflagging, the song lengths are short and to the point, the metal ethic is unmistakable, and the album duration at nine selections is admirably restrained.

In short, Poland's Archeon, who changed their name in 2007 to Made Of Hate, do an amazing number of things right on their debut album. In many ways reminiscent of Kalmah's debut Swamplord, End Of The Weakness displays remarkable talent unhindered by world weariness or the need to deliver on promises.

Archeon simply plow forward with the sole purpose of melding heavy metal to its classical roots, manic staccato riffs introducing admirable solo passages, and emerge with a memorable death metal album deserving of much more recognition than it ever received. The band's limited exposure is a prime example of the obstacles faced by bands from non-traditional metal markets.

Opener Arising sets the tone with an uncompromising double bass drum flattening any question marks about intent, but quickly giving way to clever guitar work played accurately at roadrunner speeds. Dead World is the other standout track, the Kalmah comparisons becoming more apparent with Michal Kostrzynski's lead guitar evoking Antti Kokko as he leads the rest of the band on an intensely merry melody.

End Of The Weakness has no fillers, with the rest of the tracks ranging from good to excellent. Classical music influences are never far from Archeon's music, and the album ends with an unfortunately short but cleverly metallic version of a Brahms Hungarian Dance.

If End Of The Weakness has a weakness, it is the understandably limited sophistication in each individual composition. Each track offers a very well-defined set of ideas, and the band rarely ventures into significantly varied passages. Given the choice between simple brilliance and the risk of tripping on over-elaboration, Archeon made the right choice.


Michal Kostrzynski - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Tomasz Grochowski - Drums
Radek Polrolniczak - Rhythm Guitar
Grzegorz Jezierski - Bass
Janek Lesniak - Keyboards

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Arising - 10 *see below*
2. Day Of The Doom - 8
3. Dead World - 9
4. Queen Of The Night - 8
5. Struggle With Death - 7
6. Lost Fool - 8
7. Ruins Of Life - 8
8. Prayer - 7
9. Hungarian Dance - 8

Average: 8.11

Produced by Archeon and Studio X.
Recorded by Szymon Czech and Marcin Kielbaszewski
Mixed by Szymon Czech.  Mastered by Jarek Smak.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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