Sound: Fans of Becoming The Archetype will not be disappointed by the fourth and latest entry in their catalogue, Celestial Completion. The band harnesses its progressive death metal/deathcore sound in full effect on this album but still manages to throw in a healthy amount of individual artistic flavor. The guitar recording was laid out by recent addition Daniel Gailey and guitarist/keyboardist/clean vocalist "Count" Seth Hecox. The drum beats are courtesy Brent Duckett. Jason Wisdom rounds out the group with his bass-work and growling vocal style.
01. The Resonant Frequency of Human Flesh - The oddly named intro track starts with a mysterious soundtrack composure. It gives way to an operatic arrangement of voices, shortly followed by crunching guitar and drums. Good synthesizer work, good mood-setter for the album.
02. The Magnetic Sky - Pinch harmonic laiden riffing abounds. Lots of quick chugging and short high runs on the guitar. Spoken word interlude at 2:25 after some soaring guitars. Breakdown at 3:43. Good clean vocals.
03. Internal Illumination - Heavy from the very beginning. Good use of guitar dropout to isolate the drums and stop-and-go instrumentation. Refreshing to hear the bass guitar go up with the guitars on some of the high parts (2:04). Awesome breakdown at 2:35. Good low growls mixed in. Very heavy ending (The Chariot-like).
04. Path of the Beam - pretty straightforward for these guys. Some spacey effects and clean vocals about a minute in. A lot of riffing to something that could be heard in a For Today song. Powerful vocals at 3:26. Breakdown at 3:50 and a blistering solo at 4:13.
05. Music of the Spheres: Requiem Aeternam I - A hauntingly beautiful and ominous piano interlude. The first of a 3 part song/epic. Driven by an eerie piano and some gentle woodwinds with a touch of static here and there.
06. Elemental Wrath: Requiem Aeternam II - A simple but awesome intro, great build to what is essentially is a crushingly powerful. Heavy riffing mixed with bells and sitar. Cool use of vocoder at 1:23. Blindingly fast solo at 2:19. Quiet instrumental at 4:07. Instruments gradually work their way back in with some good lead guitar work. Gives way to subtle piano work and noise. Builds back up to a heavy march around 6:30. Easily one of my favorites.
07. Xenosynthesis: Requiem Aeternam III - tremolo fast riffing and drums accompanied by a chorus of sopranos make this song very haunting. Blistering pace throughout the whole song. At 2:05 a soprano-only interlude is quite unsettling.
08. Invisible Creature - A short but interesting interlude of traditional Indian music that acts as the intro for the next song, but is good in its own right.
09. Cardiac Rebellion - Guitars join the instrumentation from the previous song followed by some clenched teeth spoken parts, then give way to some classic BTA music. Gang vocals at 1:25. Brass accompaniment at 2:06. After a quiet interlude at 3:00, the song goes into ska territory. Most interesting outro I have heard in a long time.
10. Reflect/Refract - Fairly straightforward riffing and drumwork. Beautiful clean interlude at 1:59. Good harmonized guitar solo at 3:00. Breakdown outro.
11. Breathing Light - Delay guitar intro with good clean backing vocals. Lots of heavy riffing, but with a sort of bright inflection. Use of shakers and gang vocals at 3:12. More harmonized guitar work at 3:58.
Be warned that this album makes a lot more progressive moves than fans of this band might already be used to, but if you are one with a broad tastes in music, you should hopefully be pleased with the interesting choices of instrumentation. The only criticism is that there are a good handful of places on this album where the riffs they write end up sounding a lot like For Today or any of their other metalcore contemporaries. // 8
Lyrics: As a Christian bands, these guys like to stand up for their beliefs, but their reflect a more subtle, poetic approach at achieving this. The best description I can give the lyrics is that they have a sort of powerful, mystical sort of feel to them. Elemental Wrath depicts this well with lines like "Moving up through time and space, sun and sky reveal their face. A shock runs through the atmosphere, the wrath of air awakens here". The lyrics are also ripe with allusions to the power of nature. They range from very deep to average, but they are better than many of their contemporaries in my opinion.
The vocals are an excellent complement to the music on this album. Wisdom's many growls carry some real weight to them and you can feel that at times. The clean vocals could be a little tighter, but are interesting where used. Use of effects like the vocoder make for some interesting vocal boosts as well. // 7
Overall Impression: It is hard to compare this to other albums/artists because they did so much experimentation with this album. The straight deathcore parts are similar to all of the popular bands in the genre, but the progressive elements remind me of a watered down version of Between The Buried and Me. Having said that, I would say that I would recommend this album for anyone who likes the experimental aspect of bands like BTBAM because you will find that in droves on this album. It could be seen as risky, but I found it to be an utter success because it really satisfied a lot of different areas of my music palate. I recommend the songs Cardiac Rebellion, Elemental Wrath, and Internal Illumination. I would definitely buy this again because of all of the metalcore/deathcore releases that have been out this year already, I find this to be one of the most artistically refreshing. I will be spinning this in my stereo for a good while. // 8