ARCHAIC - Time Has Come to Envy the Dead (VIC Records - CD 2009)
If I asked you “hey, do you think they can play good thrash metal in Hungary?” I bet most of you would just stare at me and think I’m crazy, many will probably doubt if they can play any metal in Hungary at all. That would obviously me unfair, as this country has spawned few great bands – Tormentor, Sear Bliss, Age of Agony, to mention just these three. But thrash metal? Aaaaa, no. So, here I want to prove you’re wrong and introduce you to completely unknown thrash band called Archaic. And I say that they’re unknown for a reason and that is even if the band has released one album for Vic Records back in 2009, it somehow went by completely unnoticed and I feel like not many maniacs have managed to hear it. Do your homework quickly then, because I can guarantee you that “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is really awesome piece of thrash metal and all in all even I have really enjoyed this album a lot. Not many bands from this new generation of thrash metal have really impressed me, most of them were boring and seasonable, with some kids who saw a new trend and jumped on the wagon, then released one album and quickly disappeared, because no one gave a fuck about them. I hope that it is not the case with Archaic, who haven’t released anything since “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” (the band is still active though!), but at least I know that their debut was actually really, really good.
Thing, which I like most about “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is the diversity of this album. Obviously it is mainly rooted in the old school thrash metal, with bands like Sepultura, bit of Slayer, Destruction, Testament… but here and there Archaic puts something different, sometimes maybe surprising, to sound more interesting that just a plain copy of the old bands. Sure, some people may say that such song as “Memories” is completely out of place on this album and just doesn’t fit here, but I have different opinion and actually really like it a lot, consider this song to be one of the best tracks from the entire “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead”. What is “Memories”? Well, imagine that between the classic thrash metal songs you’ll find a calm, melancholic, kind of doomy and progressive, very emotional and beautiful song, which may remind you Katatonia more than Kreator. Ha, yeah I know. It sounds weird, but “Memories” is like that. This is very sorrowful, melodic tune, with clean vocals and a lot of atmospheric parts, so it differs extremely from the rest of this album. But even if some will accuse the band for composing song, which doesn’t fit the album, one should not deny the fact that it really is well composed and performed song. And it is definitely one of my favourites here. But my real favourite song on “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is Tormentor’s cover. I love it. I am not huge fan of this band, but this song, played here by Archaic, is just absolutely awesome and I love it totally. Great riffs, total old school worship, great (again different, more shrieking) vocals… perfect. “Woodland of the Black Treasury”, which ends the album, will also surprise you, with its gothic rock, kind of Moonspell like, music in the beginning, which soon turns into heavy metal similar to Polish Hunter or even Metallica hehe… Hmm, I didn’t expect this to come, but again, I like it somehow!
So, where is all that thrash metal, you’ll ask? Ha, listen to such song as “Eternal War”, “Awakening”, “The Archer”, “Toxic Nightmare” and you’ll know hehe. Also “Thank You!” starts with truly awesome, classic thrash metal riff, but soon it develops into slightly different kind of playing. Meanwhile “Cornu” is heavier, almost death metal like, with small doom / death influence and more melodic riffs at the end. Ha, so you can see that so much is going on here, “Time Has Come to Envy the Dead” is an album full of surprises, but it all works well in my opinion and I really enjoyed listening to this album. Sure, it is not perfect, some vocals could have been better, I guess that the thrash metal vocals’ manner may annoy some of you (like in “Eternal War”), but you cannot please everyone. I feel like Archaic recorded cool album and that is enough for me to give is some listens once in a while and give it well deserved 70/100.
Standout tracks: “Memories”, “Tormentor”, “Cornu”, “The Archer”, “Toxic Holocaust”
Final rate: 70/100