Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Archon: The Ruins at Dusk (2010)


Archon is a sludge/stoner doom band out of New York, led by Andrew Jude (formerly of Agnosis). He contacted me with review copy of the band's debut full-length, The Ruins at Dusk.

You're already familiar with their sonic palette. It's heavy, slow, sludgy, trance-inducing riffs with steady drumming. Interest is added by way of mellow, psychedelic guitar leads. The vocals are sludge-style growls, both male and female, along with some clean female droning (not too far from Laura Pleasants). Think of Zoroaster, or the slower moments of High on Fire, and you'll get the picture.

It's a cool approach, even if you've heard it before. However, it's not entirely successful. The riffs are obviously intended to induce a trance, and the guitar leads are meant to mess with that trance and/or keep it interesting, but sometimes everything just fades into the background. I think the problem can be narrowed down to one thing: song length. I love long songs, but length is not an end unto itself. If you're going to play the same song for ten to twenty minutes, the song should deserve to go on that long. These four tracks would have been more interesting at six minutes apiece.

The Verdict: You've heard this before, and you've probably heard it better. Still, it's not without promise. Better economy of songwriting or a more varied approach would do wonders to improve it. I give The Ruins at Dusk 2.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. I stumbled upon Archon on YouTube a several months back. I enjoyed them, but they didn't leave a strong lasting impression.

  2. Archon are ok, but the old Agnosis stuff is better. Check it out at their Bandcamp. It has a nice old school and almost jazzy feeling at times.

    MaxR - Metal Bandcamp