Archelon’s sound is one that mixes that of Knut and Neurosis with a decent helping of Isis, alongside a dash of Zao and old Mastodon.
The songs have a suitable presence and charisma that’s obvious even on first listen. I probably enjoy them the most when they embrace their more progressive side, but this is only a minor preference as even on the shorter and more direct tracks like opener Gaia they are still quite compelling.
The post-metal build/release mechanic is executed well, but this is enhanced by the sludge aspects of the music so that the songs on this collection have the best of both worlds – atmosphere and impact.
Archelon obviously have a great deal of passion of this style of music, and this comes across in their material. They wear most of their influences on their sleeves, but the music they produce is so effective and enjoyable that this is no bad thing.
It’s quite diverse too. For EP I – Gaia is heavy and direct, Blood on the Sabre is progressive and atmospheric, whereas Faint Young Sun showcases the band’s doomier side. When it comes to EP II – on This Is How the Universe Ends the band channel their inner love of Isis in instrumental format, Boar Part I builds mood with a Neurosis feeling quite nicely, while Boar Part II develops this in a heavier direction.
This diversity also carries over into the vocals, which are performed in multiple styles by multiple band members. Most of this on EP I revolves around variations in shouting and semi-clean hollering, while on EP II we get some added textured clean crooning too. All of it hits the spot quite nicely.
The progression from the one EP to the next is minor, but clear, and sounds natural and positive. EP II is simply a bit further developed and refined, (with a different vocal delivery added too), although, as I say, the difference between the two is not a huge one, and shows a band that are getting to know themselves and their art over time. Overall, the whole release has an organic, earthy sound that suits the band well, and the songs are warm and nuanced while still managing to crush and maim.
I really enjoyed this. Each song is a bit different and has its own charms, and each of them is well-performed, played, and written.
Archelon have impressed and have revealed themselves to be a very promising band. Hopefully we’ll hear more from them soon, as I think a full-length from this band would be an interesting and enticing proposition.