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thearch fates
Artist: The Arch
Title: Fates
Genre: New Wave Electronica
Release Date: 29th April 2016
Label: Dark Tunes Music Group

Album Review

Belgium’s THE ARCH have been in existence since the eighties, steadily releasing albums and singles, playing festivals and touring with some of the big scene-names yet always sounding like happy outsiders, never fitting into any particular genre, or even decade for that matter. Flitting between doomy guitar riffs, burbling electronica, synth whooshes and occasionally irresistible melody, there’s something satisfying about a band who succeed in sounding, on the whole, only like themselves. 2016 release ‘Fates’ kicks off with the instantly memorable ‘Gasoline Lady’, fat-free and nicely layered, it’s pure pop without any tweeness or need for gimmick. ‘Robot Sapiens’ by contrast is a foul-mouthed gnarly-snarly old dog snapping at the heels and barking for your attention. So far so perfectly contradictory.

The title track sounds like a fuzzed up ORANGE JUICE (remember them?) but ‘Spear Of Destiny’ is possibly the first false move on ‘Fates’ as it bounds and bounces somewhat too closely to cheese and cliché – the backing vocals add nothing and lyrically it’s never going to be read aloud by studious wordsmiths in poetry groups. The snarl doesn’t always work either. Take ‘Dirty William’, a rather forgettable song which sounds strained by the chorus. In danger of sounding vocally too one dimensional at times, things really power up and improve on the belting chorus of ‘Eyes Wide Open’ – more of this please. And on ‘Immerzu’ there’s a dark, brooding energy and sense of weirdness that carries it over the finishing line and crowns it a stand-out song here.

‘Brainduck’ wins a prize for best song title, ‘Empty Garden’ is all sulky moodiness before exploding into a gorgeous chorus, backing vocals adding much more here, a vital part of the song’s chemistry. And ‘Deaf And Blind’ manages to sound like BABYLON ZOO (remember them?) if they had been any good. The album closes with the gentle, soothing ‘Frozen Jungle’. Although it’s far from the best song here, it does have a gracefulness as it build itself up and shakes its feathers. A bit of trimming would have left ‘Fates’ feeling lean and vital. There are plenty of styles and ideas, and some good song-writing here, just let down on occasion with filler. But THE ARCH will continue, one suspects, as happy outsiders, doing what they do and crossing genres and decades with a shrug and a wry smile. And for that, you really do have to like them.


01. Gasoline Lady
02. Robot Sapiens
03. Fates
04. Spear Of Destiny
05. Monsters And I
06. Dirty William
07. Eyes Wide Open
08. Immerzu
09. One By One
10. Brainduck
11. Empty Garden
12. Deaf And Blind
13. Frozen Jungle


CUVG - Vocals
Ian Lambert - Synths
Ivan DC - Guitar
Mr. Pierre -Guitar
Chiffon's Tale - Backing Vocals

Website /

Cover Picture

thearch fates


Music: 7
Sound: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

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