Arcaeon – Cascadence (Review)

Arcaeon - CascadenceArcaeon are a technical/progressive metal band from the UK and this is their debut album.

Cascadence contains 49 minutes of modern metal that takes from the technical/progressive metal/metalcore and djent genres to craft an engaging, well-rounded album. The promo blurb recommends this for fans of bands such as Periphery, Monuments, Devin Townsend, Intervals, and Architects, and it’s hard to disagree.

The music combines aggression, atmosphere, technicality, and emotive melody in ways that are very appealing. Across the album these aspects work well with each other to produce a work that has a lot to offer connoisseurs of modern heavy music.

The aggressive influences provide bite to the music, helping it avoid sounding too sanitised or safe. I like that Cascadence is frequently heavier than some of this band’s peers, and I also like that the band don’t sacrifice actual riffs in the name of the other parts of the music. The singer’s harsh barks are very pleasing too.

The atmospheric components of the music take influence from electronica and synthwave. These might effectively add a layer of emotive depth when they appear, or they might simply enhance some of the band’s more brutal sections. Frequently they effortlessly combine with the band’s talented singer to provide some very strong sections full of charismatic emotive presence.

The technical skill of the band members is readily apparent, but only adds to the value of the songs rather than distracts with pointless ostentation. All of the instruments get their chance to shine, and each of the songs has a part, (or more), that makes you sit up and really try to listen to what’s going on.

The melodic aspects of the music are colourful and typically filled with feeling, whether this is portrayed via expressive guitar leads or by powerful, (and varied), clean singing. The band’s emotive range is wider than that of your typical band of this style, operating in bright, uplifting waters, as well as darker, more threatening ones.

With well-written songs, sterling performances, a decent production, and plenty of hooks and memorability, Cascadence really is a very strong debut release. It manages to deftly avoid many of the pitfalls inherent in anything djent-adjacent, and provides a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the listener.

Very highly recommended.

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