Arkentype hail from Norway, the land of chilling black metal, but this four piece instead have gone the way of djent flavored progressive metal on their brand new release for Crime Records, titled Disoriented. Produced by the band at University in Agder and then sent to the famed Daniel Bergstrand & George Nerantzis (Meshuggah, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Soilwork, Evergrey, and more) for mixing and mastering, Disoriented is a very rich sounding album, featuring plenty of crushing, complex metal passages as well as moments of symphonic power and tranquil beauty.
Comprised of Kevin Olsen (vocals), Simen Handeland (guitars, synths), Simen Sandes (drums), and Kjetil Hallaraker (bass), Arkentype take prog-metal, djent, metalcore, and symphonic rock, roll them all together, and deliver music with pretty stunning results. The opening instrumental "Dear Erica" features a host of guest orchestra players, giving the album an intro that's not far removed from the 'Game of Thrones' theme song. "Ashes and Dirt" is a hard hitting metal number complete with vocal growls, strings, vocal choirs, and intricate rhythms. Olsen goes back and forth between the extreme and melodic vocals, and does a very nice job on both. Some gothic elements float in on the atmospheric yet still heavy "Welcome to My World", again featuring that two-pronged vocal attack as well as some airy synths, and the more aggressive "Who Are We" sees Olsen morph into an almost Devin Townsend circa Strapping Young Lad style amid somber keys and powerful rhythms. Fans of the current djent craze will love the stop/start riffs & rhythms of "Time Collapse", while "Ignorant Child" is more of an upbeat prog tune, filled with sweeping keyboard textures, catchy melodies, and both clean & harsh vocals. Again, I'm reminded a bit of Devin Townsend on this one, which, is not a bad thing. After the tasty little jazz/prog instrumental "Akire", the band launch into "Epiphany", a must hear for any Meshuggah, Periphery, or TesseracT fan, complete with some enormous grooves, fat riffs, and plenty of atmosphere. Guest female vocals, strings, and piano complement the majestic title track, as the band dive deeper into prog waters, delivering a truly gorgeous climax to this varied album.
My first impression of Disoriented was that I felt Arkentype have purposely tried to steer far from the ultra complex, dissonant, and relentless poly-rhythms of other acts like Periphery, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Monuments, Animals as Leaders, and the like. Sure, there are moments throughout the album, but I think if you are coming into Disoriented looking to be blasted with a relentless display of sledgehammer grooves and intricate noodling, you are likely to be disappointed. Arkentype have decided to take a more thoughtful approach, blending in extra melody, some classical & symphonic elements, and loads of atmosphere, rather than a never ending barrage of chops. This is an album that will reveal its beauty the more you listen to it, and while it might not be a genre classic, it's still an album that I can easily recommend. Job well done.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Dear Erica
2) Ashes and Dirt
3) Welcome to My World
4) Who Are We
5) Time Collapse
6) Ignorant Child