Arcane Roots – Heaven and Earth

  • Mark Johnson posted
  • Reviews

Arcane Roots

Heaven and Earth - Sony Red Records

It’s difficult to not act selfishly about bands. We can be quick to bemoan the lack of exposure that our favourite, smaller acts generate, but when the general masses do catch on, we worry that the lure of commercial success will cause changes in a band’s sound, thus destroying the very essence of who they are. As Arcane Roots’ popularity has grown through 2015, thanks to a deal with Sony Red Records and a series of UK festival performances, this concern has been bubbling under the surface, but with Heaven and Earth, Arcane Roots prove that they’re well and truly in control.

With this EP, the band haven’t looked to change their sound, but refine it and emphasise the elements that make the most impact. Opening track “If Nothing Moves Nothing Breaks” demonstrates this perfectly with its hauntingly melodic vocals and ambient instrumentals that tease a more laid-back alternative-indie style until the crushing riffs and breakdowns take it somewhere else entirely. These bursts of aggression add impact, giving the EP more depth and widening the band’s appeal beyond fans of alternative rock to those looking for more bite to their music.

The band have also not compromised on the technical aspects of their music. Fans of the previous record Blood and Chemistry will be pleased to hear the varied time signatures and dynamic changes running through the EP, yet the complexity of the instrumentation never detracts from the solid core of melody throughout. Vocalist Andrew Groves delivers a stunning performance that shows the range in his voice from vulnerable, delicate croons to piercing screams and soaring harmonies, all while ensuring each song contains a memorable hook.

Be sure to allow EP closer “Vows & Ceremony” play out in full to avoid missing the hidden snippet of music at the end that brings the record to a beautiful close. In future, with the backing of Sony Red Records, these passages of music will hopefully be the only things that remain hidden and not Arcane Roots themselves, as they deserve to be heard by as wide an audience as possible. With talent, songwriting and self belief as strong as this, the band have proven that they have the ability to accomplish whatever they put their minds to.