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ARCHIVE

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Archive biography
ARCHIVE started off as a trip-hop outfit back in 1994 when Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths got together with female singer Roya Arab and a young rapper named Roski John. They released a few singles on their own Swam label and broke up in 1996 following some dispute. A year later, they reformed with new personnel to record their first official album entitled "Londinium" - purely trip-hop. After a brief split-up once again, Keeler and Griffiths hired yet another couple of musicians and in 1999, released "Take My Head" - strictly a pop album. In 2002, with yet another set of helpers, they finally decided to go prog and gave us "You All Look the Same to Me".

From the very first notes of "You All Look the Same to Me", you can tell the boys all hold their PINK FLOYD collections in high esteem. It incorporates mainly floydian elements with some RADIOHEAD and COLDPLAY, and features some well orchestrated epics that merit its inclusion on this site. However, the fan base is much divided as to its progressive merits: some rave about it while others would much rather have the boys stick to their trip-hop shenanigans. One thing they do agree on is the excellent musicianship displayed throughout.

If you're a true-blue PINK FLOYD affionado, ARCHIVE's latest release won't live up to your standards. If RADIOHEAD or PORCUPINE TREE meet your prog criteria, then there's a fair chance you will appreciate it.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : ;

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AxiomAxiom
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$18.22
$23.52 (used)
You All Look the Same to MeYou All Look the Same to Me
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$26.61
$19.94 (used)
Controlling CrowdsControlling Crowds
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$16.60
$14.02 (used)
LondiniumLondinium
Import
Universal I.S. 1997
Audio CD$8.34
$5.17 (used)
Part IVPart IV
Import
Warner Music 2009
Audio CD$5.02
$5.98 (used)
LightsLights
Import
Imports 2006
Audio CD$13.65
$8.30 (used)
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ARCHIVE shows & tickets


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ARCHIVE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ARCHIVE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.65 | 27 ratings
Londinium
1996
2.74 | 27 ratings
Take My Head
1999
3.64 | 81 ratings
You All Look The Same To Me
2002
3.27 | 27 ratings
Michel Vaillant
2003
3.39 | 31 ratings
Noise
2004
3.50 | 12 ratings
Unplugged
2004
3.39 | 33 ratings
Lights
2006
3.29 | 45 ratings
Controlling Crowds
2009
3.67 | 37 ratings
Controlling Crowds Part IV
2009
3.72 | 39 ratings
With Us Until You're Dead
2012
4.10 | 10 ratings
Axiom
2014

ARCHIVE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.46 | 13 ratings
Live At The Zenith
2007

ARCHIVE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live Athens
2011

ARCHIVE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 4 ratings
Michel Vaillant (Bande originale du film)
2003
4.33 | 3 ratings
Controlling Crowds Complete Edition I - IV
2009

ARCHIVE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
The Absurd
2002

ARCHIVE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 With Us Until You're Dead by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.72 | 39 ratings

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With Us Until You're Dead
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars Trip-hop is one of the things I feel myself more far from, so I can't imagine why a band like Archive has managed to become a so good prog band from their debut. After having discovered their excellent "Controlling Crowds" thanks to a radio, I have grabbed this latest release and even with some inheritance of their electronic dance past it's another excellent album.

In my last review I have tried to give up to long track-by-track reviews, but this album is not a concept and each song has its story and characteristics so I want to look separately to each of them.

"Wiped Out" opens the dances with a keyboard layer and the soft voice of Pollard Berrier who can reach very high notes and fits very well in the song. He drives the crescendo which leads to the "floydian" part. What follows his voice is an electronic patchwork based on percussion reminding of Saucerful of secrest and which don't leave when Berrier restarts singing. An excellent start.

"Interlace" has an electronic opening. The first time I've heard "Bullets" I thought that there was something of Tangerine Dream in their music. This song confirms my impression. It starts like a sort of techno chill-out song but what makes it different from TD is the lack of "squared waves". If from a point of view it can be a song for a post-rave, it's not too different and surely not less good than the Spheres of the Orb with David Gilmour.

"Stick In My Heart" is a radio friendly track. Melodic, short and based on major chords like a Coldplay song (not as boring as a Coldplay song can be, don't get me wrong). If a single has been released I guess it's this one.

"Conflict" makes me think to Moby's debut. The drone drumming below, the modified voice and the hammering melody have something in common, but with the melody itself, the screams and the keyboard background could be on Wright's Broken China. The coda sounds classical, full of diminuished chords.

"Violently" is sung by Holly Martin. it's a dark electronic act on which the singer sounds blues. Effectively it's basically a blues infected by electronics.

"Calm Now" Is compliant with its title. Strings mainly, wuth the harping which may be a classic guitar, a harp or a keyboard. A very atmospheric instrumental. Few chords and no percussion. The first track reminding "Bullets" a bit.

It's followed by "Silent". This time it's not what the title say. Imaine the drums of Phil Collins' In the air tonight but with the nice vocals of Marie Q and strings in the second half. Another excellent song with some classical flavor.

"Twisting" is a blues sung on drone percussion, then distorted guitar and keyboards change the song's mood, but not the fact that it's a (good) blues, even when the vocals are more similar to the MUSE than to Muddy Waters.

Maria Q sings with a subtle voice a short melodic song."Things Going Down" makes me remember of Kate Havnevik, a Norwegian singer who made only one excellent album. If you like this song try her album "Melankton".

"Hatchet" is an electronic piece but it's essentially blues again. It's a very captivating song with an easy melody enhanced by the tempo on which by coincidence Holly Martin performs very well. In some moments she reminded me to Sinhead O'Connor.

"Damage" is a very particular song. For the first half it doesn't have persussion and the vocals are the most relevant element. In the second half it's a different song. Drone percussion as usual but very melodic and with the chorus based on major chords. Another highlight.

"Rise" is short and atmospheric. A slow melodic song, too slow to be radio-friendly with the keyboard layer so low that sounds like it's sung acapella.

What else to say? it's an excellent album and quite a sursprise. On their previous one I was astonished by "Bullets" and found the rest "good enough". This time the whole album is on a very good level even not reaching the heights of Bullets which remains my favourite Archive's track.

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 Live At The Zenith by ARCHIVE album cover Live, 2007
3.46 | 13 ratings

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Live At The Zenith
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I first heard of this British band when Alex suggested them in a PORCUPINE TREE thread on this site. The video he added for us to check out was a live version of "Again" and I liked it instantly. This cd i'm reviewing is from a concert held in Paris, France in 2007. I should mention that these guys started out as a Trip-Hop band with a rapper helping out before dropping him. They then became a Pop band before settling in here to an atmospheric, Alternative sounding style that brings PINK FLOYD and RADIOHEAD to mind. Man this album has some amazing music on it but it also has a lot of tracks that do nothing for me. Very much a fifty / fifty split, hence the 3 stars.

"Lights" is slow to get going but I like the atmosphere. Drums kick in at 4 1/2 minutes as that repetitive keyboard melody continues. Guitar 8 minutes and vocals after 9 minutes reminding me of BAUER. Emotion. Great track. "Noise" kicks in with strummed guitar and vocals right away. A beat and atmosphere follows. It's an okay tune. "Bridge Scene" is melancholic with reserved vocals. It kicks in hard before 3 minutes. Back to that beat with vocals as contrasts continue. Good song. "Veins" is poppy and doesn't do much for me. "You Make Me Feel" is fairly heavy but it settles when the female vocals come in each time. Not bad.

"Fuck U" drops the F-bomb many, many times. This song reminds me a lot of THE CHURCH. "Black" has a repetitive rhythm with vocals throughout. "Sane" is a catchy tune with some vocal melodies. "Sit Back Down" has a heavy beat with organ as the vocals join in. Very well done. "Again" like the opening track is over 15 minutes in length and a slow burner. It does pick up after 5 1/2 minutes and we get some harmonica too. It continues to settle then pick back up. Excellent track. "Pulse" ends it and while I don't think much of the beginning of this one I do like when she sings that repetitive vocal melody over and over to the end.

Before I reviewed this I watched that video again and thought to myself how can I not give this 4 stars ? So I listened to the cd one more time, and while it hits some real highs several of these tracks are average at best. A hit and miss affair for yours truly.

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 Live At The Zenith by ARCHIVE album cover Live, 2007
3.46 | 13 ratings

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Live At The Zenith
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by PostIndian

4 stars Archive - Live At The Zenith (8/10)

Beggining as a trip-hop act, among many others in the prolific britsh scene back in the 90's, Archive took a radical shift from it's roots with the superb 2001 album "You look all the same to me" with a truly original blending of emotional prog (with quite a gilmourish accent) to the repetitive and chilling beats of trip-hop. From then on they worked on the same formula in the albums "Noise" and "Lights". This live record is a picture of that period since most of the songs came from those three albuns. The production is crystal clear and balances the mood of the crowd with a clockwork instrumental, even too much clockwork since there's no improvisations or different "colours" in the sound, it goes almost like the studio album with the audience support. If by one hand it don't really add much to their discography the vibe of the album is awesome, and the well chosen setlist balance perfectly the most mellow moments like "Veins" from the explosive anger of tracks like "Fuck U" . But the cherry on the top of this pie are the long songs "Again" and "lights", both trespassing 15 minutes of psychdelic highs and lows (the trip-hop beats really add a powerful mood to the album), although the band is listed as "crossover" there's a huge post-rockish feeling with a superb balance between mood and energy, like on the "Lights" track with it's 5 minutes of intro that are really hard to skip. A great live album wich fits for a car ride or pointless streetwalking, just relax and let the vibe take you far away. Higly recommended for Post-rock or psychedelic fans who aren't afraid of eletronic beats.

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 Controlling Crowds by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.29 | 45 ratings

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Controlling Crowds
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars A local radio passed Bullets acouple of times in two days and I've been lucky enough to catch the name of the band and the song's title. I looked immediately on PA as the song sounded totally progressive to my ears. A number of bands jumped to my mind, Tangerine Dream for the repetitive and hypnotic theme, King Crimson or Nurkostam (that I've recently discovered on PA) for the acid sadness, even late Pink Floyd but in the same time nothing to do with all of them.

The song was "Bullets" and luckily there is the official video on their PA page.

Now that I have bought the download and I am satisfied enough to have relistened to bullets so much time I have given attention to the rest of the album.

Looking at the band's history on PA I hardly believe that he band comes from the trip-hop. Just the electronics in their sound can make me think so, but they sound less drones than Senmuth.

Highlights? All the songs are good, even if I like less when they leave the darkness behind like on "Clones" that's also the only track that can sound trip-hop in some parts (but that's a good track as well).

The already mentioned "Bullets" is still my fav, but "Collapse/Collide" and the title track are at the same level, just a bit less intriguing.

I'm grown with Floyd, Yes, Renaissance, ELP and Tangerine Dream on the "relaxing" side and with Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Deep Purple and Zeppelin on the rock side so I'm very surprised of myself. How can I like an album on which there's are two rappers chattering like on "Bastardised Ink"? Probably because after all they are making music also there.

I took some time to understand and accept things like screaming and growling, sooner or later I'll understand talking, too.

Without the rap thing I would have rated this album the maximum, but I think that open minded proggers can tolerate some dark rapping in the middle of a good album, so I'm probably excessive but I give it 4 stars.

Dark electronics and hypnotic rhythms plus remarkably good vocalists.

If you don't believe me, look at the video on PA and let me know.

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 Michel Vaillant by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.27 | 27 ratings

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Michel Vaillant
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by bridgebuilder

4 stars Not a pure prog album, but the songs and instrumentals are extremely well written, and there are definitely many prog elements. Some of it comes across as experimental-prog, while there are also short ballads, sometimes interspersed with heavy instrumentals. The whole album is very atmospheric, and as it is the soundtrack for the French film of the same name, it has all the feel of a concept album, and viewing some of the film trailers on iMDB or Youtube will add a great deal to the listening experience. I'd like to give it 5 stars, but I can't really call it "a masterpiece of progressive rock music", so 4 stars it is. This band are huge in continental Europe, but not so much in the UK for some reason.

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 Michel Vaillant by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.27 | 27 ratings

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Michel Vaillant
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I was born with this Belgian comics but I never was a fan of it (only have a couple of books). Therefore, I was not really interested to go and watch the movie. Now, let's see what comes out the soundtrack...

The feel is definitely not the one I would have expected. This is supposed to be a movie about car racing, and I can't feel any thrill, any speed, and any action in here. Just a couple of soft songs; well performed but not very convincing.

"Helicoptere" is quite Floydian (except the heavy finale) and is probably one of the best song available from this soundtrack. But there aren't that many out here. "Vaillant Theme" is still another one. An instrumental and delicate piece of music. But again, not really in line with all the fuzz of a car racing. Just a good musical moment.

After a chaotic and avoidable "Nothing", a more classic "Friend" is welcome. Some sort of a melancholic PT or even a "Beatles" tune. Melodic, sad and somewhat mellowish. The final result is not bad at all.

The more I listen to this album, the less interested I feel. I guess that a soundtrack is OK when you listen to it while watching the movie (with some noticeable exceptions like TD or KS). Even the genuine Floyd could not really captivate me with "More" nor "Obscured By Clouds".

At the end of the day (which is how I feel since it is quite late at night by now), two stars sounds the maximum rating available.

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 You All Look The Same To Me by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.64 | 81 ratings

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You All Look The Same To Me
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The third album from the band is their best one so far. Indeed PT and Radiohead are the guidelines (not so sure about Floyd). The killer track is of course the excellent opening epic. "Again" is quite dramatic and building crescendo (concept that I like very much).

From a sweet acoustic start, we are being driven into a strong electric frenzy. A great achievement for sure!

Unfortunately, the next "Numb" is a total disaster and a step backwards into the direction of their debut which was quite hip-hop oriented. This one is actually an awful "dance" mix which is best avoided. Believe me!

The languishing and beautifully cold "Meon" is quite close from some Nordic bands. Quite well achieved, shall I say. The melancholic "Goodbye" provides a lot of emotions as well. A bit poppish but inspired. Another good song (three out of four so far) which is combined by the subtle and dramatically short "Now And Then".

The remaining part of the album is less appealing. The second epic "Finding It So Hard" is rather noisy and repetitive. It could have been cut by half to shorten this lengthy CD.

"You All Look The Same To Me" started very promising but falls a bit flat. Still, it is a good album overall. Three stars.

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 You All Look The Same To Me by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.64 | 81 ratings

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You All Look The Same To Me
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by Wolf Spider

5 stars With this album Archive have written their name in the prog hall of fame!

Archive's best album to date starts off with Again - a superb 16+ minutes track that shows that Archive decided to become the first band to mix trip hop with PF-rooted prog rock. The song is very emotional with great vocals by Walker, it really can give you goosebumps. Numb is a psychodelic track with some heavy guitars at the end. Meon is a dreamy ballad featuring female voices and Goodbye sounds like a lullaby. I consider the next two short tracks to be the introduction to the great Finding it so hard - this is a very intensive and again very emotional song with some hard drumming. Fool is probably the most trip hop rooted song on this album, but I consider it to be one of the best. Hate is the weakest point of this album although I like the trumpet. Need is a short, yet very beautiful acoustic ballad. A perfect ending toa magnificent album.

If you buy the wersion with the additional disc you'll get 4 tracks with such gems as Junkie Shuffle and Sham. Songs form The Absurd EP don't stand out form those on the album.

To me this is one of the most important albums of the last decade. It's definitly worth checking out.

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 Take My Head by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.74 | 27 ratings

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Take My Head
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The first "Archive" album was a total hip-hop disaster that shared absolutely nothing with the prog music we all love.

I am not going to say say that their sophomore work is more proggy, but at least the female vocals, a more rocking angle at times, the melodies of some songs ("You Make Feel") and some fine ballads ("Brother" or "Pain Gets Worse" although the latter sounds childish and mellowish) are much more pleasant than what was available on their debut.

At times, the sound is a bit "garage oriented like during the weak ("Way You Love Me"). There are also some similarities with the band "Garbage" (which I liked very much) during "Well Known Sinner". Their characteristic heavy sound combined with lighter passages is quite well imitated.

Some cold melancholic mood with "Cloud In The Sky". The mellotron provides some Scandinavian flavour which I like very much. But so far, most of the songs are ballad-oriented and a bit more dynamism would have been welcome.

The last three numbers of this album are quite average (especially the instrumental "Love In Summer"). Globally I rate this album with two stars. But this is a serious improvement in comparison with their debut. If you like a softer version of "Garbage", you might well give a try.

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 You All Look The Same To Me by ARCHIVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.64 | 81 ratings

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You All Look The Same To Me
Archive Crossover Prog

Review by TCat

4 stars It's a little hard writing a review for a band that I don't know that much about other than the fact that they have had several line-up changes and different lead singers. I have heard almost all of their music however, and regardless of who their lead singer was or they style of music they have played, their music is always quite impressive. This album is probably their first that could actually be called progressive, and that is apparent in the first track "Again". I actually found this track on You Tube and I was hooked immediately. I found more of their music on their website and decided I would see if I could purchase some of their CDs. However, for some reason, they are not readily available here in the states. So I have had to settle for their music being downloaded and of course the quality isn't as good. Anyway, I am quite impressed with this album. You can definately hear Pink Floyd influences here but they also have their own distinctive sound, and even with the changing line-up, I can still identify their music as being innovative. There are a lot of gems on this album and some of their following albums, and I may write a better review when I really get to know their music better, but I wanted to at least get a word in about a great band. Look these guys up and give their music a chance. I believe most prog-heads will not be dissapointed.

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