British tech-metallers show their capability

If the alternating time signatures in progressive metal appeal to you, Reading’s tech-metal sextet, The Arusha Accord, have a treat for your ears.

Opening track, ‘Dead to Me,’ is a powerful introduction, offering some excellent guitar work and complex drumming. After a striking introductory verse, the enraged vocals then subside, exposing a beautifully melodic chorus. Leading on from this is ‘The Tightrope,’ which somewhat lacks the coherence of its predecessor. The post-chorus section is particular pleasing, implementing a change of atmosphere.

The initial lo-fi style of ‘Desolate’ is short lasted, but substantial enough to provide contrast to the aural experience on offer. Whilst The Arusha Accord are staying true and focussing their sound, the result is unfortunately starting to appear formulaic; yes, it’s metal, but individual song identity begins to evaporate.

‘The New Face of Revenge’ is another sturdy song, but perhaps not as groundbreaking as the title may suggest. There are some excellent elements within, yet all seem to be executed in a familiar manner. ‘Night of the Long Knives’ is certainly an example of The Arusha Accord’s pursuit of their tech-metal sound and if complexity is what you seek, the band delivers here.

The title track, ‘The Echo Verses,’ is a delightful intermission, featuring a solo electric guitar minus distortion. Harmonics add aural decoration to a welcome change of pace. Not necessarily an outstanding composition, but just shows that The Arusha Accord are aware of the importance of balance within the overall scope of an album.

Seventh track, ‘The Resurgent’ is a noteworthy piece; the sustained chords remain powerful, but actually allow the listener’s mind to recover from the bombardment of notes encountered so far on this journey. Apart from a decent title and a reasonable latter half, ‘You Cried Wolf,’ has little to offer in terms of originality.

Like the opener, ‘The Death of the Thieves’ is another track that proves how vocally competent The Arusha Accord are, dispelling the typical misconception from the laymen that metal is for untalented, wannabe musicians. A song of distinction; this is a welcome discovery.

Following this is the instrumental track, ‘Solice’. Consisting of layered guitars, this proves to be an appropriate introduction for the album’s conclusion. ‘Last Rise of the Fallen King’ is a satisfactory finale, not quite meeting expectations after such an intriguing adventure. However, the beautiful vocal harmonies provide a particular highlight in a song that is unfortunately fairly average.

Having said this, the album overall flows incredibly well, making it very easy to keep on listening. The Arusha Accord are an exciting prospect for Britain’s metal scene; with a musical identity now developing, the band are certainly capable of rising to fame. ‘The Echo Verses’ is a solid achievement for the band; tight, well-written and full of promise. However, the band could have covered everything in around half the amount of tracks.