by Rob Powell
Immense is just one word that springs to mind when thinking about alternative rock band Arcane Roots. Seeing them live at a festival earlier in the summer has been one of the top highlights and one it will take a heck of a lot to beat. For a self-produced, self-directed video, Belief makes use of some striking landscape shots providing a picturesque backdrop to a story unfolding through the song. It is layered with so much scope and intensity the end result is rather quite stunning. This is the latest single to be released from the band’s smashing debut album Blood & Chemistry and serves to further cement just how huge these guys can and undoubtedly will be. With the kind of versatile vocals that succeed in tying your ears around in complex knots while distracting your mind with their sheer beauty, Belief showcases the more tender side to Andrew Groves. The impact is no less forceful however as he gets to summersault and back flip aplenty with them as they surround you in their full high definition splendour. His vocal ability is astounding as he holds piercing notes for what seems like a lifetime before making it feel like he’s allowing you to take a breath.
Everything on the song works so closely in synch I would go so far as to say it is a masterpiece of superbly engineered hard rock. Even its subtle and contemplative beginning with smooth heady mix of guitars and bass has ‘anthem’ stamped all over it. It doesn’t take long before things build to an explosion of cataclysmic drums in danger of knocking you out. The breakdown three minutes in is perfectly timed and sounds exquisite. The vocals here are so evocative and overflowing with emotion you may require a tissue before they end up carrying you off in a whirlwind of wide-reaching riffs and even more tantalizing thunderous drums. The climax comes via some fast and furious gritty guitar lashing at you repeatedly; there may be a need to head bang on this more tender number after all.
With Belief, Arcane Roots fully deliver on the epic reputation left behind in the wake of previous singles Resolve and Slow. I’m pretty sure hearing even one of those would entice you to purchase the full album but if not this one will certainly give you a nudge. While many bands on the alternative rock scene seem to be struggling to leave their mark on an audience, there is no shadow of doubt this trio manage to do that and more. They simply smash right through and flatten everything in the path of what might be deemed as even coming close to compete with them. I’ve seen them likened to Biffy Clyro recently but trust me; Arcane Roots are in a whole other league. And a better one at that!