It’s been interesting to see this band’s evolution over time. They started out under the moniker of Only The Strong, releasing an EP back in 2015 (Listen Here). With a change of names since, they’ve undergone a paradigm shift sonically as well. They now stand as a Progressive Metal three-piece producing music that could be compared and contrasted with the likes of The Contortionist and ERRA.
They’ve cemented their presence with the release of the debut EP “2.0”. This 7 track record saw the light of day with it’s unveiling last month. It’s currently available for streaming in full and for purchase over on Bandcamp.
From my perspective, the EP starts on a great note. “Imperium” is a track that I’ve revisited from time to time since first encountering it as a single last year. It serves as a sweet, melodic opener but doesn’t fully prepare the listener for what comes next.
After emerging in a certain softness, the second track brings the heavy so swiftly some may fall off their respective seats. This sudden transition highlights a key feature of this EP in a way… Both instrumentally and vocally, this record exists in two intertwined worlds. One is calming, even tasteful in nature. The other is a punishing heaviness wrought with technicality. “2.0” has a tendency to ping pong between these worlds without warning. “Casuality” is a good example of this. Once it passes the initial wall of heaviness, it suddenly swings into a soft and sweet section only to smack the ears with frantic riffs once again. This may bother some listeners but, ultimately, the show goes on admirably.
Every track on this release is notable for one reason or another. For example, the building tensions of “Alt+del” and the lovely guitar solo that closes out “Theta” are quite enjoyable. In reality, that’s barely scratching the surface of what The Lucid Archetype has to offer here. It’s abundantly obvious that this band has no shortage of talent among their ranks. Every member brings an important element into the mix. More importantly, all these elements work to support each other from section to section. This is a release filled to the brim with great musical ideas. Much of the composition is drawn from emotional depths and abstract angles with gray matter put into motion as a driving force.
Atmosphere is another striking element on “2.0”. Just about every track wraps it’s music in a catalyst of some sort. Whether it be warm as a sunrise or cold as the depths of the universe, this is the kind of music bound to strike some sort of imagery into the minds of it’s more imaginative listeners.
While this is generally a great EP, it doesn’t emerge without flaws. As hinted before, while the majority of the ideas on the record are great, some of the sudden transitions make the presentation feel forced. Luckily, this only true some of the time. There are moments when these sudden transitions hit the right notes and add momentum. The Lucid Archetype are clearly capable of striking the balance and will surely improve as they continue to evolve. Also, a few questionable production choices are scattered throughout the EP. The not-quite-there electronic section about a minute into “2.0” and the not-quite-there creepy carnival music on the EP ender “Actus Reus” are examples of this. However, for every minor flaw on this release, there are multiple bright spots. Don’t let these few words sway you away from their light.
To sum things up, this EP is worth the experience. It marks the emergence of a promising new metal unit. There’s certainly room for growth but it doesn’t stop “2.0” from being an enjoyable product reeking of musical potential. If you’d like to give a listen for yourself, you can find two tracks from the project up above. Also, don’t forget you can head over to Bandcamp to give the whole thing a go!