Arkaik is an American technical death metal act from Riverside County, California. While initially a technical brutal death act, personal evolution and a lineup change led to their taking a new direction as a fusion-tinged progressive death metal act, gaining a not-small amount of praise and putting them in position to become another major player in the death metal game.
Formed in 2004 by Jared Christianson (vocals) and Chance Strickland (guitars), the lineup quickly expanded to include Craig Peters (lead guitar, backing vocals). Several bassists and a multitude of drummers came and went before Eric Cohen and Keith Roylance finally settled in to the respective roles. It was at some point during the many lineup changes where the band released a promo and full-length demo before inking a deal with the well-known indie label Unique Leader Records in 2009, soon following with a proper full-length debut in the form of Reflections Within Dissonance
the following year. That same year brought with it their first US tour, as well as Cohen's subsequent departure and the entrance of his replacement, Ivan Munguia. Roylance then left the year after that, with his replacement coming in the form of drum wunderkind Alex Bent. 2012 proved to be their breakthrough year thanks to both a high-profile tour with Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, and Abysmal Dawn and the release of their second album, Metamorphignition
, which was released to much fanfare and critical praise. Judging by their continued success, the sky's the limit at this point.
- The Divine Manifestation (2006) - promo EP
- Existential Chaos (2007) - full-length demo
- Reflections Within Dissonance (2010)
- Metamorphignition (2012)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Alex Bent is well-known for his manic, highly theatrical playing style and seemingly inexhaustible energy.
- Brutal Death Metal: Moreso on the earlier albums.
- Concept Album: Metamorphignition.
- Epic Rocking: "The Omnipus" tops it at 10:07, while "Opus Brahmanic" also qualifies at 6:17.
- Five-Man Band:
- Instrumentals: "Opus Brahmanic", minus the occasional chants.
- Lead Bassist: Eric Cohen and Ivan Munguia have both been Type A examples.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 10 on their earlier material, soft 10 on Metamorphignition.
- Motor Mouth: Jared is a frequent practitioner of this.
- New Sound Album: Metamorphignition was a pretty major change from the heavily Deeds of Flesh-influenced debut to a very proggy, fusion-influenced sound, albeit one retaining most of their old brutal death sound.
- Not Christian Rock: Their pre-Metamorphignition material had vaguely spiritual lyrics that were misinterpreted as Christian despite actually being anti-religious on closer inspection thanks to various Biblical references.
- Progressive Metal: Heavily influenced by it on Metamorphignition.
- Purple Prose: Common on their earlier material.
- Revolving Door Band: When it came to drummers early on. Things have settled down since then.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Particularly on the early material, sometimes to a fault.
- Technical Death Metal: Tech on their earlier material, prog on Metamorphignition.
- Teen Genius: Alex has been playing drums since he was eleven years old, was playing in the Modesto Junior College Jazz Band at fifteen, got a gig playing for Steve "Zetro" Souza's new band Hatriot at sixteen, and got the Arkaik gig when he was just barely eighteen.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The philosophical/metaphysical themes of their earlier material occasionally got too carried away.