Review by Tomek on December 20, 2014.
It has been awhile since the last time I got excited about a band that plays melodic death metal. I’ve heard latest releases from In Flames, Soilwork or Dark Tranquillity and these are solid and reputable firms, but if it comes to anything new I wouldn’t be able to give you any names. To be honest with you, I wasn’t looking for anything new, but then Bloodshot Dawn fell in my lap accidentally on purpose - and it was a very pleasant discovery for me. It also reminded me about my affection towards melodic death and how much I enjoy listening to the genre. Just then I got Sweden’s Faithful Darkness delivered to me to be checked out and evaluated. Coincidence? Maybe, but now let’s get to it.
Faithful Darkness is from Sweden and Archgod is their third release, so they are not a new band by any means. After listening to the album last couple of days I have to say that this is how I like to take my melodic death metal. Promo sheet qualifies them as melodic death/thrash metal but no matter how you’re gonna pin it, this is one monster of an album. I cannot get enough of melodies and themes created by those guys. It seems that every song tries to top the previous one with something distinctive and diverse when just guitar riffs bring so much melody by themselves that it’s almost overwhelming. If that wasn’t enough those guys added some well done soloing, some catchy samples, some keyboards here and there, piano and who knows what else to keep things interesting. Got to mention drums here too because we don’t have some generic rhythm keeping guy here. Joakim has very many ideas and he is not shying away from playing them all to us. It is a pleasure to listen to him go nuts in almost every song and you can only imagine the energy level that guy adds to the live shows of the band. The songs change from aggressive and pummeling to soft and snuggly in an instant, and on top of that a very juicy guitar sound that I cannot get enough of flows nicely out of the speakers. It would be enough to keep going for some bands probably, but over here all that goodness is supported by fat thumping of the bass and vocals ranging from deep growl to some nicely done clean singing. And since we are on the subject of singing, this one has lots of catchy choruses if growling in the shower is your thing.
I like Faithful Darkness and I admit here willingly that Archgod has been listened to by me many, many times in the last couple of days. I cannot find anything that I don’t like about this record and it brings a huge pleasure grin on to my face. Faithful Darkness has done me right, check’em out.
Rating: 8 out of 10