Archspire 'Bleed the Future'

Archspire ‘Bleed the Future’

It’s not a huge misstep in the grand scheme of things, but calling Archspire a technical death metal band is to artificially limit the band’s astounding prowess and other-worldly talent.

The quintet roars again on “Bleed the Future,” 31 and a half minutes of fleet-fingered fury that — once again — sets the bar for the genre. It’s no longer enough to play it safe, as the Vancouver, B.C., band loudly displays.

It’s impressive — and a little frightening — that the band (vocalist Oli Aleron, guitarists Dean Lamb and Tobi Morelli, bassist Jared Smith and drummer Spencer Prewett) can rip through the torrid content of “Bleed the Future” with such accuracy, tightness and heaviness.

And while the metal elements (crunch and speed) are clear, there is something more at work here, and it may not be completely clear upon first listen. Under all the denseness, chops and skill lurks a sense of humor and an emphasis on dynamics not often heard in a band of this extreme genre.

Sure, it takes about seven seconds for the opener, “Drone Corpse Aviator,” to explode into what makes Archspire so special.

Aleron’s astounding vocals are nearly beyond description. He enunciates so quickly and ferociously — often in unison with Lamb, Morelli and Smith — that his voice stacks an additional percussion instrument on top of Prewett’s acrobatic work on the drums.

There is probably no better example of the complete Archspire approach than “Golden Mouth of Ruin.” Prewett’s opening burst propels the band into a maniacal unison tapping section, less than a minute into the song, and Aleron soars over the top of it all.

Also on the menu: neck-snapping stop-time breaks, main riffs that incorporate sledgehammer lows and pinch-harmonic highs, and guitar solos that include impressive technique and (gasp!) melody.

Archspire are state of the art, as “Bleed the Future” clearly displays — relentless and groundbreaking, as was to be expected.

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