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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Dichotomy

  • reviewed by Andrea Dawn Goforth Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Sep
  • COMMENTS
Dichotomy
Sounds like … Experimental metal with a twist of goth in the vein of August Burns Red, Trenches, Demon Hunter, and From a Second Story Window.At a glance … Becoming the Archetype builds on their metal roots with elements of goth rock and synth effects to create a unique, though somewhat disjointed sound. Track ListingMountain of SoulDichotomyArtificial ImmortalitySelf ExistentSt. Anne's LullabyRansomEvil UnseenHow Great Thou ArtDeep HeavenEnd of the Age

In the vast pool of hardcore music coming out of Tooth and Nail's Solid State Records, it's somewhat surprising that Becoming the Archetype has received little recognition and attention compared to labelmates Underoath and Norma Jean. But with the release of their third album, Dichotomy, the group aims to place a larger stake in metal territory while catching the ears of critics and fans alike with their inventive sound.

The new album clearly demonstrates the band's metal chops: heavy, intricate speed riffs and brutal breakdowns abound, played with precision and creativity.? But unlike some of their peers, BTA frequently chooses to depart from the chaos into slower, almost goth-like progressions reminiscent of Trenches or Deftones.? The band's utilization of keyboards brings ambience into the aggression, often serving as distant, haunting choirs on tracks like "Mountain of Souls" and "Evil Unseen."

The synth textures aren't the only surprise. "Self Existent" begins with a solo piano, "St. Anne's Lullaby" is an almost Spanish-sounding acoustic instrumental inserted into the album's middle, and "Ransom" begins with plucked strings reminiscent of Panic at the Disco.? But while these elements are interesting and well done, they can make some of the songs feel too disjointed. It's almost as if Becoming the Archetype is overflowing with too many creative ideas—they could have made another album with a completely different sound if they wanted.

BTA's lyrical content here is rooted in biblical themes relating to the album title. "Tower," for example, examines the story of the Tower of Babel while contrasting a life lived to serve man with a life given to serve Jesus: "As man perfects his own imperfection, destruction closes in." This band succeeds in poetically examining a life of balance within a three-to-four-minute song. Disjointed as some of the songs are, it all bodes well for Becoming the Archetype, a band willing to experiment in order to find a unique voice in the metal market. They come one step closer to gaining greater recognition with Dichotomy.

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