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Becoming The Archetype present their latest album with the added pressure of introducing new bandmates to the mix. Whenever a vocalist leaves a band, especially the ORIGINAL vocalist, the entire identity of a band could be changed for good. With longtime vocalist/bassist Jason Wisdom and drummer Brent Duckett out of the band, I Am will be the testament to fans whether Becoming The Archetype can remain true to who they are, and to their loyal fans.

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I Am is the 5th studio album from Becoming The Archetype, and it’s usually at this point that a band really solidifies their identities to their fanbase.  And this happens to be one of the releases a metal band does once in a while where they try to get rid of any gimmicks, and just get back to playing metal. Guirarist Seth Hecox has stated that I Am has the most heavy and technical songs they’ve ever written. We’ve all heard tons of bands do this sort of move before and have heard them fall extremely flat, but I Am is actually executed pretty well.

I Am ends up being a pretty good album without too many outstanding faults. Songs like “The Eyes of the Storm” explode right away with some awesome chugging, and other songs like “The Planet Maker” soften the blow a little bit with some melody. It’s also not quite as fast as their previous albums, as most of the album can verge on the slower side rather than the driving side. Songs like ‘The War Ender” are slight exceptions to that, but a good number of tracks don’t follow the same suit. And unfortunately it also tends to make the album a little monotonous. If you just listened to the first few seconds of each track you might think you were hearing the same song over and over again. But if you give it even just a small amount of effort, you could easily get sucked into it. Compared to their previous work, it is stripped down a little bit more, and focuses a little more on just being a metal album.

The new bandmates mesh pretty well into the band on I Am as well. New vocalist Chris McCane has a pretty similar guttural sound to Wisdom’s vocals, and the drumming fits perfectly as well, so fans won’t need to make too much of an audible adjustment. In fact if you didn’t know there was a line-up change from the previous album, you probably wouldn’t even notice it. It’s probably the most seem less line up change I’ve ever witnessed.

Aside from some of the more repetitive parts, I Am ends up being a pretty solid album. This will definitely be one that the fans will love, regardless of the loss of some of their favorite faces. It very well may be their heaviest release to date, and should engrain their identities in the metal world from now on.

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