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The Arkitecht - "Hyperstructure" (CD)

The Arkitecht - "Hyperstructure" CD cover image

"Hyperstructure" track listing:

1. Blackout
2. The 20th Century Feast and the Millennium Hangover
3. Through Broken Glass
4. Elation
5. Children of the Gods
6. Hyperstructure
7. Face Thief

Reviewed by on November 19, 2009

"'Hyperstructure' is a one-man progressive metal blowout of epic proportions."

The Arkitecht’s writing core is one man from Mexico City – Genaro Ochoa. You’d never guess it by the music, though. Ochoa is a force to be reckoned with both in composition skills and musicianship. He composed all the music and lyrics, played all the instruments, and did all the programming, though he brought in guest musicians for vocals and guitar solos.

Normally, production value falls when the number of musicians on a given project does – Not so for “Hyperstructure.” The instruments are crisp, clear, and heavy as a sledgehammer. The drums are programmed, but are the most realistic programmed drums you’ve ever heard. The guitar-playing, from acoustic to heavy electric, is reminiscent of Dream Theater and Biomechanical, but with less tediousness and more focus on melody. The songs vary from progressive rock to metal, and sometimes at the drop of a hat, with vocals varying from bright melodic singing to fierce yells, growls, and Children of Bodom-esque gang yells.

The keyboard work is also remarkable on songs like “The 20th Century Feast and the Millennium Hangover,” which utilize synths and Hammond organs, as well as blistering lead pads for the key solos. Guitar solos are handled by guitar talent Cesar Huesca and have the feel and soul guitar nerds love while being ferocious and metal. Vocals are handled by Dante Diaz and Alvaro Lamadrid, but everything else on the album is played by Genaro himself.

From “Blackout” to “Hyperstructure,” the story of a man’s search for illumination is told in a mostly accessible and exciting manner. The last song on the album, “Face Thief,” is a hefty piece of orchestral metal spanning an entire half-hour. The piece is three years in the making and tells the story of a serial killer taking the faces of victims for art. This piece, the crowning glory of this album, showcases Ochoa’s flair for symphonic composition, choral arrangement, and their adjustments to metal. This piece is immense, with an unforgettable blend of delicate arrangement and pounding intensity. This track makes this album worthy of worship.

“Hyperstructure” is a one-man progressive metal blowout of epic proportions. Genaro Ochoa has crafted an album worthy of reverence. Producing something of this scale individually is a mighty task and, with musical abilities on par with the men of Dream Theater, Ochoa has done it and then some. This is easily one of my favorite albums of all time.

Highs: ‘Hyperstructure’ has a cohesive integration of metal styles with excellent production values and musicianship in all instruments, while holding the listener with many memorable moments.

Lows: Some of the melodic transfers between sections are awkward.

Bottom line: Hyperstructure is a powerhouse and an example of how grand a project by one man can be.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 skulls
5.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)