Last year I came across Archelon’s I//II, which compiled their two previous EPs. This showed the band’s development and progression from their debut EP to the next, and promised very good things for the future. Well, the future is now, and Tribe of Suns is the 46-minute embodiment of the band’s previously seen promise.
The songs on this album demonstrate the band’s passionate mixture of post-metal, sludge, and progressive doom tendencies. Further developed and refined, this new album takes the strengths of Archelon’s previous work and builds it up even higher. The music is atmospherically immersive and well-crafted, taking the listener on a journey that leaves them feeling that they have experienced something worthwhile and of substance.
Archelon boast three guitarists, which allows them to create hefty walls of sound, as well as pulling off some intricate displays of songcraft. There’s a depth here, something substantial that’s conveyed by the emotively crushing guitars, the effortlessly-delivered melodies, and the band’s enticing approach to the use of multiple singers.
Regarding the latter, the vocals are as richly-performed as the rest of the music, and embedded firmly in the framework of the songs. With a lot of bands the singer tends to be a focal point and seems to come before everything else. With Archelon, the vocal talents of the various band members are simply another part of their musical equation. Sometimes they do take centre stage, of course, but at other times they simply play the part that’s meant for them without any fanfare. No matter what they’re doing, however, they’re an essential ingredient to the Archelon mix, and I really like the various styles used.
With a range of paces, moods, styles, and dynamics showcased across these impressive and enjoyable songs, Archelon have produced a very compelling piece of work here. My excitement at the prospect of a full length album from this band has been more than justified, and Tribe of Suns is an engaging and emotively atmospheric listen, one which I heartily recommend you experience for yourself.