French metal acts have a tendency to twist and distort your view of how a metal style should sound and for the most part this debut sits safely in the realms of modern technical death metal but initially on “LFDY” you’d be fooled into thinking the band was going to play epic doom metal with the slow but massive guitar riff that opens the song, but after about 90 seconds this is blown to smithereens when the riff change announces itself. The technical adeptness isn’t quite up to the likes of Gorguts, Obscura etc but certainly shows enough arrogance and perplexing tempo changes to contend with the second division competitors of the scene who I won’t name for obvious reasons. I’ve often found technical death metal devoid of passion and emotion as riffs tend to be hurled at you in wave after wave with accompanying shifts in pace making the songs clinical and lacking memory impact, but with Architect Of Seth the band at least retains a riff and melody long enough for you genuinely hear it, absorb it and enjoy it and there are plenty of them as the album rips into “Engender Of Confusion” and one thing strikes you about the bands songwriting is that they have listened to Chuck Schuldiners back catalogue in their sleep it seems as many of the songs drip the guys inflexions on the guitar work and even the vocals are a little like him too, though it has to be pointed out this is not a clone album by any means.
I did find the little nuances of piano and acoustic guitar insertions refreshing with “Embrace Of Anguish” also containing some keyboard elements before the vicious riff burst and blast with a high pitched guitar tweak reeking of classic Morbid Angel. I suspect some reading this would think with a name like this the band would have Nile traits as well, which they do but they are less obvious than what I’ve mentioned previously. “Tears Of Sadness” has a cracking opening riff not too far off the newer stuff by Revocation, with flowing lead work and here the Chuck comparisons are worn firmly on their jacket sleeves and back patches. Closing the album is the epic “Teacher Of Nocturna” with its cruising riff and lead introduction the song builds successively by layering multiple guitar facets very like Nile, with a continuous double kick pervading the whole song and swerving in and out at various speeds along its way. The riff break is prime time Death, no doubt about it, the rubber stamp is there for all to behold and utterly enjoy as the tune ambitiously undertakes a shift into blast territory while retaining a sense of focus especially when the tune changes to some rather exquisite acoustic guitar work.
This is a very proficient death metal album, with plenty of technical expertise ingrained in the song writing and for a debut competitors in the scene better watch out in 2014 as these guys mean business.
(8/10 Martin Harris)