It’s always fascinating to watch a band that was already fascinating from the very first instance evolve into something that can only be considered as immensely compelling by all accounts. Arcade Messiah has always been a highlight of the progressive rock and metal worlds ever since their debut six years ago, and it’s after years of testing their sound to become almost something else entirely, it’s with this fresh effort that we see this Irish act at their undeniable peak.
This is the first instance where Arcade Messiah has brought the inclusion of vocals, and I was not ready for it whatsoever. Since the first day that I heard them, Arcade Messiah has been one of the premiere acts of instrumentalism on my list, and I was absolutely positive that was going to be the case yet again as I ventured into “The Host”. But, clearly, Arcade Messiah always knows what they’re doing down to a magnificent formula as the vocals are just as fantastic as the instruments surrounding it to easily make this record become the most impressive work this band has produced to date with it showing proof of concept for a band that’s always doing something to catch the listener off guard. That’s not even taking into account the absolutely staggering musicianship that’s at play in literally every single second of “The Host”. Each track is so incredibly unique from one another with only the strings of rock and occasionally metal being the only thing to tie them together as Arcade Messiah is never once afraid to throw a completely new element into the fray that does an immaculate job of tickling the senses in the most tantalizing fashion. From electronic rhythms to soaring vocals to a mild sense of heaviness, there’s so much within “The Host” that can capture the attention and imagination of many a listener effortlessly with Arcade Messiah’s intrinsic and complicated sound that often flows better than water, and with plenty of experience powered by the great talent behind it, there isn’t much to not enjoy throughout the eight expansive tracks that are offered to us. It makes for what’s easily the most grandiose work that this band has put together by far, and now with a guiding voice taking us to more unique planes of musical strangeness like never before, what is there not to be excited about concerning the future of Arcade Messiah?
In just about every way, “The Host” is an absolute surprise to me. Apart from the expected quality despite it being topped far beyond anything I had dared hope, Arcade Messiah held nothing back in making this their most eclectic and exciting album up to this point and it’s on that mission they succeeded undeniably! This is a work that must be heard by any prog-afficianado of any kinds for this has everything that you’re looking for with everything that came before it being a humble lead-up to the majesty that is “The Host”.
LISTEN to “The Host” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Arcade Messiah on Facebook here.