Archspire – Relentless Mutation

Canadian band Archspire surely needs no introduction. With a single album, they defined themselves as the epitome of their genre and a paragon to strive for. That genre is technical death metal – tech-death for short –, and that album was The Lucid Collective, released in 2014. Earlier this month, the Vancouverites released their new album, under the edgy moniker Relentless Mutation. More than simply a follow-up, it’s actually a step up, as incredible as it sounds from a band already seen as over the top as this one. A while ago now, they teased a drum practice video for a song at 350 beats per minute – “Involuntary Doppelgänger” on the album –, and we knew that the band was looking to top themselves. How they managed to be even more absurd than the gravity blasting, sweep picking, on-and-off tapping, fast rapping Archspire they were demonstrates their rigour and motivation as musicians, and that is to be respected. Relentless Mutation enhances the definition of tech-death, and pitilessly raises the bar for other musicians, and shatters the hopes and dreams of many a talented fella along the way. It’s an almost flawless record; there are indeed a few tracks that are a bit lacklustre for one reason or another – in mind “Calamus Will Animate” and “Remote Tumour Seeker”. However, the album is totally inspiring as a musician, and a relentless headbanger as a melophile.