The execution of an epic requires experience and time. 10 years since their last release, Becoming The Archetype realize their most expansive, entrancing, and engaging vision yet on their sixth full-length offering, Children of the Great Extinction [Solid State Records]. The core trio—Jason Wisdom [vocals/bass], Seth Hecox [guitar/keyboard/vocals], and Brent “Duck” Duckett [drums]—focus their intensity into a cinematic trip bolstered by soaring clean vocals, technically proficient instrumentation, and a fascinating sci-fi concept. After building a devout fan base through a series of seminal records, they fulfill their potential at the highest level with a blockbuster story now.
“Thematically, it reflects the reality of our current humanitarian situation,” observes Seth. “Existential dread pervades our existence. People have experience with real monsters in addition to facing our own mortality. These things are evident not only in metal culture, but greater culture as well. We touch upon all of this as well as the possibility of redemption and salvation from those terrors.”
In 2005, Becoming The Archetype landed with the force of a tsunami on Terminate Damnation. Presenting an inimitable hybrid of tech, death, and progressive metal underpinned by deep themes, they captivated fans with The Physics of Fire in 2007. For Dichotomy a year later, they teamed up with the legendary Devin Townsend [Strapping Young Lad] behind-the-board as producer and served up anthems like the title track featuring Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter. Along the way, they packed shows touring with legendary bands like Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, Demon Hunter, Zao, The Chariot, and more. In 2011 the band partnered with producer Matt Goldman (Underoath, The Chariot) to unleash their most progressive album, Celestial Completion—the last album to feature Jason and “Duck”—until now.
The members always remained close, but 2020 saw them reunite to begin crafting new material what would become Children of The Great Extinction with producer Nate Washburn (My Epic) in Atlanta.
According to Jason Wisdom, “This new album isn't just about making more music, but about re-capturing the original artistic spirit of the band. Children of the Great Extinction is not just another BTA album. It is a fully realized vision of Becoming The Archetype that we’ve always wanted to put forth.”
The band pulls no punches with the bludgeoning first single “The Lost Colony.” Pummeling percussion charges forward in tandem with a steamrolling riff. Harmonics punctuate hard-hitting verses before a hypnotic clean chant takes hold. Former lead guitarist Daniel Gailey (Fit For A King/Phinehas) offers a soaring guest guitar solo that practically leaves his fretboard in flames.
“The Lost Colony is one of the first songs we wrote,” recalls the frontman. “It introduces the whole system of the story. It’s a pivotal song thematically, and it showcases a little bit of everything we do. It’s got brutal moments, melodic moments, and a big shredding guitar solo.”
Meanwhile, with “The Remnant” the band crafts a whiplash inducing groove that is equal parts catchy and heavy. Jason screams, “We have not forgotten,” to kick off a song that definitively proves the band has not forgotten how to make epic melodic metal. “The Remnant was actually the original name of the band,” says Jason. “It’s full circle for us. In terms of the story, the song ties into the struggle to regain connection with ‘The Lost Colony’.”
The next track, “The Calling” begins with a classic BTA style orchestral intro before launching into black metal vocal and blast beats. The brutal and melodic gnash up against one another in a maelstrom of jack-hammer percussion, unhinged soloing, and ominous production flourishes.
“To me, it’s old school,” notes Seth. “If you’re a fan of Terminate Damnation, you’ll probably gravitate towards tracks like this one.”
Elsewhere, “The Phantom Field” provides a respite from the metal onslaught with a delicately plucked classical guitar and an ominous hum—the third such piece in the band’s catalog. The album reaches its apex on the near nine-minute “The Sacrament.” Strings offset the chug of a crushing riff as Jason screams, “This death will not define you.”
In the end, Becoming The Archetype shines brighter than ever on Children of the Great Extinction.
“There’s an element of hope,” Seth concludes. “It’s about giving yourself for someone else. No good truly happens without great cost. That sacrifice is worth it though. This is the version of Becoming The Archetype I always had in my head.”
Jason concurs, “When you hear it, I hope you think, ‘Becoming The Archetype’s back!’.
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