O quality melodeath, where art thou? A valid question in my estimation, as outside of well known subgenre firebrands such as Insomnium, Be’lakor, and Dark Tranquility (who, in case you aren’t aware, have been around for a considerable amount of time), there’s been little new and exciting in the world of melodic death metal for quite some time. Unless one were to include Connecticut’s Archaic Decapitator. Because if, like myself, you find your own sad visage scanning streaming platforms for even a shred of hope for the subgenre, this band is here to present you with a highly melodic fist to the face. With four official releases (including a string of recent EPs) under their belts, the band have reminded listeners of the relevance and impact melodic death metal is capable of in an age obsessed with pushing technical boundaries to the limit or reveling exclusively in the genre’s old school past. With their third EP, The Apothecary, Archaic Decapitator continue to do what they do best, and we couldn’t be more pleased to present this latest manifestation of their talents to you ahead of its official release date exclusively here at Heavy Blog!
When it comes to the tropes of melodeath, Archaic Decapitator offer a veritable smorgasbord of pick-your-poison goodness. You like atmosphere? Instrumental opener “Circadian Promise” has you covered. How about those who want their music slathered in synthetic effects? “Skyward” delivers. But let’s be real. We’re all here for the R I F F S. Nearly every track excels in this department, but “Cruelty of the Host Star” and “Diminishing Returns” are especially potent. But the crown jewel of the whole release is the title-track finale, which consolidates the bands fantastic instrumentation (including stand-out work from new members Gary Marotta, formerly of Xenosis, and Chris Ridley on rhythm guitar), soaring melodies, and crushing riffs into one beautiful package that stands tall among the band’s very best offerings. It’s the perfect way to close out Archaic Decapitator’s best and most thoroughly enjoyable release to date.
The Apothecary drops April 19th and is available for pre-order on the band’s Bandcamp page. But don’t let that stop you from diving headlong into all the riches this record has to offer right now. Continuing their string of fantastic releases, it’s abundantly clear that Archaic Decapitator are aiming for the melodeath throne. Who’s to say it isn’t theirs already?