Archvile King represents numerous approaches and clichés to the music I like, which is no doubt why I have taken quite a liking to the band: It is a solo act, with one very talented musician writing and performing every single instrument as well as the vocals and lyrics. It is a French band, meaning that there is just a hint of French culture spread across the overall feel of his music. He is massively productive, having released an EP, a Single, a Split and a Full-length since the band was founded a mere three years ago. And perhaps most important, he has a strong agenda, a clear vision in mind. All of this was evident from the second I gave his Full-length album À La Ruine a spin (which literally translates into ‘At The Ruin’).
The lyrics on all eight tracks are delivered in his native French (something I am always a fan of, irregardles of the fact that I do not speak the language), with the short intro being delivered by an as-of-yet unknown female vocalist. Aside from said intro, all eight tracks seem to be disconnected and aim towards telling their own self-contained story (except for the title track, which instead serves as an instrumental interlude). All in all the record has a runtime of roughly thirty four minutes and forty seconds – A bit on the short side from what I have come to expect these days, especially since the high pace and effective conveyance of themes and emotions presented throughout creates the illusion of the entire experience passing by even faster than that.
That being said, it is probably a very fitting length for an Archvile King release – The core of the music is traditional Black Metal, with heavy influences from contemporary Thrash Metal, which fuses together to make a very dirty, gritty and fast paced style of Black Metal (which, incidentally is also evident in the fact that the song on À La Ruine average at about four minute).
Now I cannot deny that this is a very effective approach for two reasons: One, it is a rather rare combination, meaning that Archvile King has succeeded in creating their own unique sound (something I will always applaud when done succesfully as is the case here) and two: It managed to draw me in almost from the very first note and all the way through. Probably the best example I can give of this is the fact that I originally intended to have this review out the day before the record was set to release (which was four days ago), yet I never actually managed to sit down and finish this review until today – ‘Just one more spin’, I get telling myself, much to my own detriment. Nevertheless I enjoyed every single spin, and the album is going to be a mainstay in my car for the foreseeable future as a result.
Below can be found the track ”Dans la forteresse du Roi des Vers ”, which translated into ‘In the Fortress of the King of Worms’, for no other reason that it was the album premiere for À La Ruine – Despite the close to a dozen spins I have given the record, I have yet to declare any of the tracks my favourite. Maybe you, dear reader, will have more luck.
Recommended for fans of Aura Noir.