03. El Cazador
07. Imagen y Semejanza
As of the past few years, there have been many deathcore/djent bands that have gathered a small but dedicated following online, but there are so many of those bands that it’s hard to pick out the ones that are truly special. Arcadia Libre are one of those bands, and they’re from Mexico. To be honest, they’ve been pretty unimpressive with their first few songs, but when they changed direction from standard fare deathcore to an aggressive form of metalcore/djent, they defined their own sound. They’ve finally released their EP Alpha for free, and it’s not disappointing.
The album starts off with a funk-influenced groovy intro track titled ‘Alpha,’ and the band’s signature take on djent is immediately established. The production isn’t top notch (there’s some clipping at times, beware!), but the rawness of the tones actually work in favor of the overall sound. The thing that brings together the sound and songwriting is that the guys pull no punches; they’re not interested in slow two-step breakdowns. Every moment is extremely groovy and headbangable on this album.
When the first actual song, ‘115‘ kicks in, it’s immediately obvious that the vocals are, well, interesting. Most people will probably be put off by the vocals, because they’re very throaty. The majority of the vocals on the album are some sort of growl, but the growls sound very different to what is considered “good” screaming. In all fairness, once the initial shock, the vocals actually work well with the album. It’s hard to imagine that Alpha would have the same amount of kick and panache to it without these vocals. As stated earlier, it will be a turn-off for many, but if one gets used to the vocals, it actually works well.
Arcadia Libre aren’t without their due criticism, however. The record’s weakest point is in the lackluster production, plagued by bad tone and clipping. Given the appropriate sonic quality and production value, Aracia Libre would sound absolutely huge, but instead finds itself a victim of the loudness war in the worst way possible — the record clips out despite not even being all that loud in volume to begin with. It’s a very obvious and unfortunate blemish on an otherwise fun record.
There aren’t too many fancy displays of virtuosity that will turn heads, but this is solid, enjoyable music. As a small-time band that’s trying to make it big, Arcadia Libre are doing more things right than wrong. For fans of the genre, this EP is a pretty impressive work, barring the production issues. I’ve been humming the grooves to ‘Exotransito‘ since the first time I’ve heard it. The best thing about the EP though is that it’s free. So there’s no excuse for not going to the band’s Facebook page and downloading the EP and giving it a spin.
Arcadia Libre – Alpha