ARKAEA – Years in the Darkness

Prior to the announcement this year of a second incarnation of FEAR FACTORY featuring Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares, the other half of the classic FEAR FACTORY line-up (guitarist Christian Wolbers and drummer Raymond Herrera) debuted their new band, ARKAEA, via Years in the Darkness. For the most part, ARKAEA is FEAR FACTORY with a metalcore singer. The signature FEAR FACTORY rhythms and riffs are unmistakable. But at the same time, the band does display some more musical diversity than FEAR FACTORY. There is more spacing in the songs, more melodies, and perhaps a wider palette of emotions and dynamics that the band is trying to capture. While vocalist Jon Howard may be the least ferocious voice that Wolbers and Herrera have played metal with, he is also the most melodically diverse. At times, he sounds like LINKIN PARK‘s Chester Bennington. Howard never hesitates to heavily utilize his clean vocals while simultaneously trying to create catchy melodies. More often than not the clean vocal choruses succeed in their goal. Years in the Darkness boasts a ton of content via 14 songs clocking in around four to five minutes each. In a way, this works against the band in that not all of the songs are winners and/or carry the same level of impact. Pockets of complacency set in and taint the quality of the majority of the album. Given the current climate in the world of FEAR FACTORY, it will be more than interesting to see how things develop musically for ARKAEA in the future. At least the one positive that has already developed is the birth of a new band with a quality debut album. (E1 Music)

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