(We present DGR‘s review of the new album by the California death metal band Arkaik. The album will be released on March 11th by The Artisan Era.)
For a very long time I considered Arkaik something of a bellweather when it came to the modern tech-death scene. Up until the time following 2017’s Nemethia the group were a pretty reliable snapshot of that scene, every two to three years adding to their conceptual album universe with a battering of groove-oriented and rhythmically-complex songs that straddled the line between being overly technical and brutally-core without leaning too far in either direction. Despite an ever-shifting lineup, Arkaik have maintained a fairly strong and consistent output. Because of that, as noted, they’ve been perfect if you’re the type to dance into and out of many different subgenres of heavy metal.
Now though, the situation shifts as labels have gotten far more specialized than before. It’s not so much that Arkaik find themselves at the forefront of a particular genre any more, but that they have found another label that specializes in where Arkaik are at this moment in their musical journey.