|Review: Arkaik - The Divine Manifestation|
|The Divine Manifestation|
Year released: 2006
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: November 18, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
for:The Divine Manifestation
I was quite surprised to read that Arkaik were unsigned, simply due to the overall professional sheen on this self released EP. Conversely, the fact that the band were nominated for best metal band in the Southern California Music Awards, it seems that it will only be a matter of time before they're snapped up. The Divine Manifestation is Arkaik's 3rd EP, and offers up a brutal platter of Cryptopsy-esque crushing death metal (albeit, a slightly less eccentric, jazz-fused Cryptopsy). Kicking things off with a sample from the screen version of Stephen King's "IT", a squealing de-tuned onslaught explodes forth in the form of the best of the three songs on offer "Dead Lights", featuring labyrinthine twists and turns, as well as your typical meat and potatoes crunchy death metal riffage thrown in for the purists.
The second and third tracks, whilst just as technically proficient as the first, don't quite match up to its high standards of songwriting. Still, there is the odd highlight though, mainly notable in the classy frenzied Decapitated-like choppy riffs of the title track, and Slayer-isms shown on the dual harmony mid-section of the final track. However, there are some gripes for me on this EP, and in the main, they are pretty trivial; particularly when taking into consideration that the band have yet to even release a full length album. Firstly, the vocals do get a bit, well, Chimaira at times, especially on the 3rd and final track. There's a fair amount of vocal range there, with some decent extended death grunts, but that gravelly rasp-vocal thing just doesn't do it for me when it comes to death metal. Secondly, consistency throughout such a short runtime shouldn't be too much to ask for, but let's just say that it's pretty obvious why they used "Dead Lights" as the opening track.
Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly polished and genuine release for a band only three self released EPs into their profession, and when you take into consideration there are some signed bands deep into their career releasing albums of lower professional and technical quality than this, it's certainly food for thought. With few little tweaks in the songwriting department, a lot of hard work, and a full length album under their belt, Arkaik could well be a future force to be reckoned with.
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