“We looked at each other and said, ‘Is this too cheesy?’ then we all agreed, ‘Fuck it, let’s just do it.’ We’ve chosen to write for ourselves rather than anyone or anything else.” It’s a bold statement to make on behalf of an emerging band, but following a period in which creative freedom was an unnerving concept, Arcaeon vocalist William Young is clearly thrilled to be free of pigeonholing. Equal parts intricate prog, searing melodicism and anthemic choruses, this Reading-based crew have taken their inspiration from struggles past and present and come full circle artistically – something which initially seemed aeons away with the disbandment of former band Clockwork last year, a subject on which the frontman is incredibly stoic about in discussion.
“We were all in very different places when it ceased. It was a huge disappointment and everything was up in the air,” he calmly explains. “It had just become very hard logistically and we hit a rock in terms of production for our EP – the proverbial snowball stopped, and we knew it was time to move on to something else.”
A classic case of soul-stirring catharsis, Arcaeon’s debut EP, Balance, legitimises this young collective’s claim as “one to watch” and bleeds with a passion and self-belief more akin to the genre’s big-hitters than a self-released effort with little budget behind it. Encompassing influences ranging from the gleaming alt-rock of monoliths Muse and videogame-inspired electronica, to guitarist Sam Machin’s youthful exposure to scene stalwarts such as Sylosis and The Arusha Accord, it’s all designed to lure new people into their musical sphere. Lead single Fade is an enticing blend of colossal hooks and punchy riffs (“We saw it as the pop song and thought it was great!” William chuckles) but there’s also incredible synergy at work here, as well as a conceptual framework across the five tracks. As he explains, they wanted to encapsulate a theme that everyone could identify with.
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“We wanted to look at different points of struggle. Lyrically there’s songs like Endeavour that sets the scene. Dysaxis was about looking more at the downside – the depression and feeling stuck. We wanted to end on a happy note though so with Legacy it’s what you can achieve if you refuse to give up and that you can inspire other people by doing that.”
Despite their short existence, the band already have shows alongside Devil Sold His Soul and The Voynich Code under their belts, and the response continues to be hugely positive – particularly amongst the tight-knit tech-metal community. The smart money is on an appearance at 2018’s Tech-Fest, but on the strength of this shining debut, Arcaeon certainly have the musical chops to move even beyond this flourishing scene. Expect them to become one of tech metal’s leading young names as 2018 rolls onwards.
Arcaeon’s new EP Balance is out now.