Review: Arcane Roots – Melancholia Hymns

Arguably one of the hardest working bands in recent years, Arcane Roots have built a career the old fashioned way, touring relentlessly and connecting and befriending their fans. With all eyes on the London three-piece they are poised to unleash their first full-length in four years, ‘Melancholia Hymns’.

Known for a style encompassing math rock, powerful choruses and monster riffs, Arcane Roots immediately throw a curveball with album opener ‘Before Me’. Steeped in a wash of synths, singer/guitarist Andrew Groves shows off a uniquely haunting vocal ability providing unmistakable melody, something that becomes a real feature of ‘Melancholia Hymns’.

‘Matter’ sees progression from the Roots of old, incorporating electronics and trademark guitar tones to create a sound so much bigger than it should be possible for three people. It is in the trio of songs that are guitar driven singles ‘Off The Floor’, ‘Curtains’ and the epic ‘Solemn’ that Roots offer something to really get your teeth into.

With undertones more akin to the likes of Radiohead than to the band’s previous works, ‘Melancholia Hymns’ shows a trio in the midst of a growth spurt, capturing a more “adult” and experimental side. The arpeggiated synth fest that is ‘Arp’ is a fine example of this. ‘Everything (All At Once)’ is true to its namesake in the best of ways, striking a middle ground between what fans expect and the new elements that, to some, may seem a little alien. ‘Half The World’ is an emotional parting made for stadiums. A powerful exclamation mark, Arcane Roots steer this vessel to soaring heights before departing, hopefully not for another four years.

‘Melancholia Hymns’ is a bold statement; a lesson that sometimes you have to move on to grow. That growth and continued work ethic will surely prevail for a band that are deserving of nothing short of complete world domination. If ever you are going to sit up and take notice of Arcane Roots, now is that time.


‘Melancholia Hymns’ by Arcane Roots is released on 15th September on Easy Life Records.

Arcane Roots links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)

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