Arcturon: Expect Us

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Arcturon: Expect Us
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Arcturon: Expect Us
Melodic Death Metal
Supreme Chaos Records
October 24th, 2014
Release length: 16:48
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Arcturon is a five-piece Melodic Death Metal band from Reigoldswil, Switzerland. While many sites state they formed in 2005, the band has gone on record stating it was 2004, citing their brand new EP Expect Us as a ten-year anniversary release. Their comments in the accompanying press-release also go on to say this and their return to the stage is that of a “war cry”, and one not to be taken lightly. Those aware of the group and their previous efforts following 2007’s Breaking Walls demo (which consists of their debut full-length album The Eight Thorns Conflict and the 2013 follow-up An Old Storm Brewing) may take this as a reassuring call to arms from this established act. But does Expect Us actually live up to that powerful statement, or is this new release their weakest yet?

Well, there is a good amount of variety present on Expect Us that is good, but mostly bad and generic. “My Treasure” kicks off with slowly increasing scales on the guitars that lead to catchy hooks and additional keyboard effects before dropping to a much lighter and open sounding Alternative Rock approach in the main verses. The chorus has a grander presence to it that is catchy and uplifting, but really not that impressive. This isn’t a good thing to consider since it’s really the best the EP has to offer next to the Dark Tranquillity influenced “A Restless Soul.” When the chorus hits, the rich Melodic Death Metal performance carries a sleek, rainy atmosphere, which is quickly ruined by the simpler pricking of guitar strings that play up a thematic Stolen Babies or Lacrimosa environment complete with an accordion in the second main verse.

“Expect Us” has some tighter, faster material at the start, but what follows is some simpler chugging with symphonic effects in areas with a beat and rougher vocal performance that carries a dull Rap meets Hardcore early Stuck Mojo presence that greatly lacks the commanding attitude of the latter. Finally there’s “Rowan”, which plays up the alluded to war decree in the beginning with its Folk Metal influence. But this quickly goes away, leaving us with chugging composed ly of bass guitar with a chorus that sounds more like modern Chthonic, but far less engaging.

Expect Us is just not a good release. Period. There’s nothing at all memorable other than frustration from strong starts suddenly dropping to simple notes, quiet backgrounds, and mainstream allure, all of which come off as though composed by someone who had two months of lessons behind their instruments before hammering in with something symphonic and beautiful for the chorus that shows any real talent. There’s also the fact that much of the better material is what we’ve all heard done better a thousand times over already. This method also makes every song just sound incredibly unorganized and amateurish, something a band going on ten years shouldn’t be putting out there at that point in their career. If you’re interested in Arcturon, you are better off sampling their previous two full-lengths to see if this is a band you want to invest some time into. As for the Expect Us EP, there’s very little worth paying attention to here, and you’re best to be moving along.


01. My Treasure – 3:42
02. Expect Us – 4:16
03. A Restless Soul – 4:03
04. Rowan – 4:46
Initial Pressing Score: 2/10

Arcturon
Arcturon

Digital review copy of this release provided by Supreme Chaos Records
via Metal-Promotions.