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. After a tour supporting Six Feet Under was cancelled, they wound up embarking on several smaller West Coast tours instead. As of 2014, Peters and Strickland have both left, with Miguel Esparza and Greg Paulson taking their place, though Strickland has stated that he intends to continue to work with them in some fashion. Lucid Dawn, their third full-length, will drop on October 30, 2015..
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Divine Manifestation (2006) - promo EP
- Existential Chaos (2007) - full-length demo
- Reflections Within Dissonance (2010)
- Metamorphignition (2012)
- Lucid Dawn (2015)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Afro Asskicker: Alex Bent is a rare Hispanic example.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Alex Bent is well-known for his manic, highly theatrical playing style and seemingly inexhaustible energy.
- Bald of Awesome: Greg Paulson and occasionally Alex as well.
- Brutal Death Metal: Moreso on the earlier albums.
- Concept Album: Metamorphignition and Lucid Dawn, which continues where the former left off.
- Epic Rocking: "The Omnipus" tops it at 10:07, while "Opus Brahmanic" also qualifies at 6:17.
- 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.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Jared Christianson.
- Progressive Metal: Heavily influenced by it on Metamorphignition.
- Purple Prose: Common on their earlier material.
- Revolving Door Band: In somewhat sporadic intervals, but they relentlessly plowed through drummers early on and then had the entire band with the exception of Jared change over within the span of a couple years.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Particularly on the early material, sometimes to a fault.
- Special Guest: Jason Borton (Beyond the Red Horizon) and Ron Casey (Inanimate Existence) have both served as live drummers (as Alex is currently drumming for Battlecross as well and is thus not able to consistently tour with Arkaik), while Adam Roethlisberger has served as a live bassist. Cameron Porras (also of Inanimate Existence) was supposed to serve as a live guitarist on a tour with Six Feet Under until the tour was literally cancelled the day before it was supposed to start. Album-wise, Trevor Strnad and Ryan Knight are slated to make appearances on Lucid Dawn.
- Start My Own: Craig Peters started his one-man progressive death metal project Destroying the Devoid while he was still in Arkaik; he chose to devote more time to it after he quit the latter. A full-length is being released by Unique Leader Records.
- 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.