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Archive - With Us Until You're Dead CD (album) cover

WITH US UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD

Archive

 

Crossover Prog

3.52 | 64 ratings

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TCat
3 stars Archive took a few years off after releasing their concept "Controlling Crowds" albums. Their fans which are mostly European, were excited when the band finally announced this album in 2012, and they have been averaging an album a year since. This was a decent follow up to the previous concept albums, but this one doesn't follow any specific concept. The nice thing about it is the variation in the vocalists, you get quite a differentiation in the vocals, but a consistency in the bands signature electronic sound with the usual added organic sounds. They continue to combine progressive "Pink Floydean" textures, throwing some shoegaze and rave into the mix.

This time around there are two male and two female vocalists. They usually don't harmonize together like you would expect from another mostly electronic Pink Floyd inspired band called "Pure Reason Revolution", but many of their songs are very strong and emotional, while others are kind of flat on this album. Personally, for the most part, I love their slow and lush songs more than the upbeat ones, mainly because there not as repetitive.

The album starts out excellent with "Wiped Out" which builds to a very emotional climax with some amazing vocals, almost "Muse"-like, but better. Things sag a little at this point, and the hopes that were built up in the first track tend to lead to disappointment, that is until you get to "Conflict", which by the time it starts in with a percussion solo, gives a well needed pick me up to the album. This is one point where the faster song comes in at the right place. "Violently" is a little more progressive and is another highlight. "Calm Now" and "Silent" flow into each other and are two very beautiful songs lead by female vocalists and the string orchestra mixed with the electronics. "Twisting" is more upbeat and again shows off some great vocals and mood swings.

At this point the album starts to get mediocre and boring again. "Hatchet" has a good solid beat by the time it gets to the end of the song, but it takes way too long to get there that you almost don't care when it does take off. "Damage" is another one that sounds like it's going to build up to something, but when it finally arrives at the 3 minute mark, it isn't the payoff that you expect. It's not bad, it's just not as good as it was making itself out to be. By the end of this 7 minute song, everything sounds quite disjointed.

There are some nice harmonies on "Rise" but the melody just isn't interesting enough. "Aggravated Twisted Fill" was pretty good, but then the album ends with a weak effort with "Soul Tired".

I remember being really excited about this release the first time I heard it. But that excitement was short lived because the next time I listened, I just couldn't generate that same excitement, and now it just doesn't hold my interest all the way through it. There are a lot of high points, but the low points can weigh the entire album down too much. Before the release of the next album "Axiom", I thought the reason for the inconsistency of this album was because they needed to have a concept to give it more cohesiveness, but I soon learned that was not the case as "Axiom" was a concept album, but still missed the mark, and I was disappointed right away with that album. Things would get better, but this seemed to be a pattern with the band at this point, some great material, some mediocre and some just plain boring and repetitive. As far as this album, overall, the low points seem to outweigh the high points.

TCat | 3/5 |

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