Although Reign Of The Architect only fully coalesced as a band last year, this ambitious, Israeli-based progressive metal project has been five years in the making, with this album tracing its roots right back as far as 2008, when guitarist Yuval Kramer initially started work on this concept work, along with Mexican drummer Mauricio Bustamante and vocalist Yotam ‘Defiler’ Avni. The recording sessions finally started in 2010, and a host of international collaborators were called upon to help bring the project to fruition – including Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, Ayreon/After Forever keyboardist Joost Van Den Broek and, most notably, vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. A further three years down the line, this painstakingly pieced-together opus has now seen the light of day, thanks to another international partnership, this time with Cypriot label Pitch Black.
To be honest, it took several listens to get into the album and let it crawl it’s way into my psyche, and it’s still one I approach with mixed feelings, as there are moments of sheer ecstasy – such as the glorious riff on ‘Such A Celebration’ or the crunching opening of follow up ‘Leaking Wounds’ – but equally there are as many incidents of unfulfilled promise, especially in the production of the female vocal parts, which could have been so much more dramatic, especially on the opening tracks (it is not until ‘False’ that soprano Adva Kramer finally gets the deep, rich sound that she deserves), and sheer, outrageous kitcschness – and here it is the lyrical department which is most to blame, with the aforementioned ‘Such A Celebration’ actually being a prime example of this imbalance.
When it is good, it is very, very good – loads of soaring guitar melodies, huge, multi-layered choral vocals which drive this space opera along at a fairly thunderous pace (including some nice thrash touches, such as on ‘As The Old Turns To Sorrow’ and the punishingly heavy ‘Secrets In The Hallway’) and, despite the occasional flaw such as that mentioned above, an impressive production and it does contain all the right ingredients to appeal to a broad spectrum of metal fans – an especially those of sweeping operatic concept albums such as those produced by Tobias Sammett.
2. Different Heart
3. Hymn To Loneliness
5. Such A Celebration
6. Leaking Wounds
7. Distant Similarities
8. One Single Sour Grape
9. As The Old Turns To Sorrow
10. I The Architect
11. Secrets In The Hallway
12. Crown Of The Shattered Dreams
13. The Green Flame
14. We Must Retaliate (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
15. Hopeless War
‘Rise’ is out now on Pitch Black Records.
Follow ROTA on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/ReignOfTheArchitect/