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Archetype - Hands of Time

1999 Intromental Music :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-08-11

These are the discs that keep me going most of the time. After hearing 30 discs worth of unholy black metal, popping in something Archetype is truly refreshing. Residing in the Fates Warning/Dream Theater branch of the metal tree, Hands of Time is an excellent example of what progressive hard rock can offer us. The recording techniques employed here give the album more of an oper air, jazzy feel, which may be due to choice, or what the studio had to offer. Whatever the case, the sound isn't compressed and flat, allowing the guitar lines to breath and accentuating the dynamics with which the songs are created. The mastermind behind this whole project is guitarist/songwriter/lyricist Chris Matyus, who write some truly scientific stuff, but exploring many spheres of influence and sound other than metal. Don't get me wrong, there are some scorching moments, driven by the drummer Keith Zeigler's keen polyrhythmic sixth sense, where they give the elders something to sweat over. But, my ultimate thoughts would lead me to classify this as progressive metal, more similar to DT than Fates. Chyle's voice may hold osme of this, for while his voice is strong, it tends to be the straw which tips the scales (to mix a couple metaphors). At any rate, with outstanding musical performances on all fronts, at all times, this is a good band to check out to hear what's going on in other areas of the underground.