Coming from California, Arkaik (not to be confused by the clothing brand) have been making Technical Death Metal since 2004. Originally formed by guitarist Chance Strickland and vocalist Jared Christianson, they would later join forces with lead guitarist Craig Peters, drummer Alex Hernandez Bent, and bassist Ivan Munguia to complete their line up. Altogether they make an awesome Tech Death unit. And it shows on their sophomore album “Metamorphignition” which was released on Unique Leader
This band definitely brings a very heavy, brutal edge in their brand of metal. But they also have very smooth technical precision which they display as they weave through their songs with skill. Arkaik’s music also has a very empirical quality to it. As if the songs are saying “Behold my fucking majesty”. I love when I get that impression from Death Metal.
I have something good to say about every song on the album. “Skin Grafted Hieroglyphs” opens with some creepy atmosphere before it smashes your face with metal \m/ It makes for a great opener because it shows you what most of the album is like… face smashing metal. But the band does have well constructed breaks from the heaviness, as evinced about 3 minutes into the opener and with the band’s ambient elements. Next up is the title track, “Metamorphignition”. This is really just straight up, relentless tech heavy goodness. Very mosh worthy at points. You’ll notice the vocalist keeps a fairly level tone throughout the album, but his delivery is effective. The longest section of the album, “Sirens In Electric Veils” is split into two tracks. Both segments steam roll through with greatness. It is a worthy Death Metal epic. Not only does “Soliloquies of The War Machine” have an awesome title, it’s an awesome song. It certainly makes for a stand out track with it’s next level delivery and use of dissonance. “Blade Grasp Priesthood” is another great chunk of Tech Death, displaying the bands skill with furious riffing. It fades out into atmospheric splendor before leading into the next song. There seems to be a theme of time in pieces of the ambiance with the ticking of clocks. “Laughing Prophet of Doom” opens brilliantly as it proceeds to slam you with the heavy. I especially enjoy the second half of this track as the band unleashes their technical skill with primal fury backing it. “The Withered Hands of Mortality” is easily one of my favorites on this release. With furious, shreddy guitar work and excellent delivery, this is definitely a stand out track. I recommend that you listen above. “The Omnipus” may have a funny title, but the track wrecks. Quite moshable and impressive to listen to. “Opus Brahmanic” is a great way to finish the record. It opens with tribal flair before it chunks in with the metal. It has a heavy emphasis on the empirical effect that I had mentioned before. Then it turns you out into ambiance to close the album.
This record is great, but it’s not perfect. Some segments may strike you as the same old, same old Death Metal. Parts of different songs may sound the same. But Arkaik’s creativity is usually on par with their talent level so all the songs remain enjoyable.
If you’re a big time fan of Death Metal, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll
enjoy “Metamorphignition”. I recommend this album to metal heads in general, being a great sophomore effort from Arkaik. You can listen to a couple tracks right here, right now! And if you find
yourself moshing, go buy that shit! You can grab it on the band’s official website, right here.