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Artist: Archive
Title: With Us Until You're Dead
Genre: Trip Hop / Progressive
Release Date: 31st August 2012
Label: Cooperative Music

Album Review

With the genre defying Quadriology of 'Controlling Crowds' ARCHIVE had done a return to form turning their focus on big socio-political subject matter. I am mentioning this specifically because with their direct successor 'With Us Until You're Dead' the collective opts for a smaller scale and a more personal perspective on things. It has been described by the band already as “ songs basically. But coming at the subject matter in that non-formatted Archive way.”

Opening with 'Wiped Out', the album starts in a very ethereal with the vocals basically soaring on air. Berrier is really outdoing himself on this one and reaches the current limits of what its vocal chords can do. It's causing you showers of goose bumps. Immediately afterwards, the lab of sonic experiments opens its rooms of odd time signatures, piano lines and epic melodies. The track blends seamlessly into 'Interlace', being a rather subdued track it gradually branches out into indie rock territory while maintaining a strong electronic sound throughout. 'Stick Me In My Heart' upon first listening became one of my absolute favourites on the new album. Placid as a secluded lake it's shifting forwards, gradually building up to something bigger. Dave Penny and Pollard Berrier are doing this one together. It's like their vocals are controlling the song as the composition adapts to every alteration.

Following 'Conflict' sees Penny become a kind of acolyte. Someone who speaks out a simple truth in a monumental way “Conflict is a part of us / with us until we're dead”. The song swells and swells its depth increasing accordingly until it is all topped with an orchestral lead-out. 'Violently' has been lifted as the b-side to the album's teaser single and introduces Holly Martin as vocalist who's bringing her soulful timbre to a song that is growing very experimental by the minute, steeped in dissonances and harmonies at the same time. 'Twisting' is the ARCHIVE version of a twisted blues song, dwelling in odd rhythms blended with distortions and caressed with orchestral majesty and with a vocal performance that is second to none.

'Hatchet' grows from a minimalist beat pattern with an exiting vocal line that makes you begging for more while you're nodding with you're nodding your head. I'm curious to see its effect in a live setting because I think it is made to be performed live. The penultimate track 'Damage' develops into a sophisticated and moreover organic dance track over time paying tribute to the roots of Keeler and Griffith while the closing track 'Rise' is giving you pure acoustic feeling with a spine-tingling orchestral backdrop. No doubt that 'With Us Until You're Dead' has become a highlight of 2012 with no real flaws to find.


01. Wiped Out - 6:21
02. Interlace - 4:43
03. Stick Me In My Heart - 3:57
04. Conflict - 5:02
05. Violently - 6:25
06. Calm Now - 3:54
07. Silent - 5:40
08. Twisting - 4:02
09. Things Going Down - 1:52
10. Hatchet - 4:16
11. Damage - 6:50
12. Rise - 2:49


Darius Keeler - songwriting, synthesizer, piano, programming, arrangements
Danny Griffiths - songwriting, synthesizer, samples, programming, arrangements
Pollard Berrier - songwriting, vocals, guitar, programming, arrangements
Dave Penney - songwriting, vocals, guitar
Holly Martin - vocals

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Cover Picture

archive withusuntilyouredead


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10

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