The band’s new album I Am includes three new members: Chris McCane (vocals), Codey Watkins (bass) and Chris Heaton (drums). The new configuration of Becoming The Archetype continues their progressive death metal/metalcore musical style, but with a few differences.
BTA has toned down the bells and whistles and experimentation on I Am to focus on the riffs. It was a wise decision. There is still plenty of creativity and experimentation, but it is much more focused and purposeful. Proving that less can be more, the songs on I Am increase the catchiness factor while displaying more technicality and brutality than ever.
As far as the genres at play on the album, there is a healthy dose of metalcore with breakdowns that will get the pit moving. There are also a lot of progressive influences. Vocally the band hasn’t lost a step, with McCane’s harsh vocals very much in the vein of their previous vocalist. There are also clean vocals from Hecox on a few songs.
As far as standout songs, one of them is the opener. ”The Ocean Walker” sets the bar high with some catchy guitar riffs and nice melodies along with ample heaviness. ”The Sky Bearer” is another strong track with gang vocals and tempo/intensity shifts. “The Weapon Breaker” is heavy and almost oppressive at times, with crushing riffs easing up midway for a melodic guitar solo.
I Am does have flaws. A couple of the songs don’t really stand out and are easily forgettable. The numerous breakdowns might wear on some listeners as well. The decision to make things a bit more straightforward is a double edged sword, but for the most part Becoming The Archetype made it work, creating an album that will satisfy existing fans and attract new ones.
(released September 18, 2012 on Solid State Records)