|Review: Archaic Revival - Pagan Evolution|
Year released: 2007
Review online: October 15, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This is a debut album from this US band who play a moody variety of keyboard heavy Goth Metal. This band is apparently just two people, plus a session drummer. Derek Cvengros is the main force; composing and writing, as well as playing lead and acoustic guitars as well as bass. It would be a one man band without the undeniable presence of singer Stefanie Stauffer, who brings this whole work up considerably with her smooth, haunting vocals.
This CD covers a lot of ground without sounding experimental at all, they just mix a lot of elements into a unified sound. The basis is a gothy sound deeply rooted in classic metal riffage, accented with keys for definite atmosphere. The riffs are much more rhythmic than driving, but some of the leadwork is quite good. The melodic lead is clearly taken by the pleasing voice of frontwoman Stauffer, who drives these songs with easy charisma and deft hooks. The band often employs repeating, hypnotic melodies, as on the slower "Olympus" or the catchy, arresting "Unsung Hero". There are no bad songs on here, and if there is a caveat it is that a lot of these tunes sound a good deal alike, and don't create quite enough individual identity.
I was not expecting to be very excited by this, but I find I like it very well indeed, and I keep coming back to it. A new band that will definitely bear watching in the future.
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