Artwork by Lucius Andromidus. Released by A Wolf At Your Door Records in 2007.
Due to my unplanned hiatus I’ve actually been listening to this album for a couple of months now.
This recording took me a little by surprise when I first started listening to it. The EP kicks off with a couple of opening riffs that could easily have been from Iron Maiden’s No Prayer for the Dying or Fear of the Dark recording sessions. Any notions that this might be a wannabe Maiden clone band get knocked completely out of the park at 37 seconds, however, when a mind-crushing Obituary-style riff shoves the interweaving twin-guitar harmonies well into touch.
The rest of the album then follows in that death/thrash metal vein, which makes the EP’s intro so puzzling. But — and this took me about ten listens of the EP — throughout the recording you begin to hear in some of the riffs references to Maiden. Respectful nods of the head of true British metal pioneers. And why not. And it works.
The rest of the EP is a really fairly decent offering, rooted in the old school British thrash sound (think Xentrix and to a degree Sabbat) fused with the Florida death metal sound (such as Obituary, Death, or even Morbid Angel).
In the final track I hear elements of the new wave of American thrash, such as the incredible Lamb of God: growling vocals, staccatoed riffs played over wailing guitars and syncopated drums.
I was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics. Obviously, being a death metal band its contents subject is mostly… well, death — and particularly your own death. But it’s not the usual clichéd nonsense, although I was a little confused why the opening song, which appeared to be describing the angel of death was called ‘Divinity’.
I’d never heard of the British death/thrash metal band Arceye until I picked this album off my shelf but I really like this EP. It has a good fusion of old school and modern thrash, and is decidedly British in its sound. I’d definitely be interested to hear how Arceye have developed their sound in the last five to six years.
The only thing that really spoils it for me is the melodic, Maiden-esque opening. I don’t think it adds anything meaningful other than to distract and confuse the listener. Well, this one certainly.
Review score: 85%