We have long been fans of the ambitious progressive metal project Archaeologist. Kyle Schaefer, the Bay Area artist behind the project, is a prolific and multi-faceted musician who joined forces with Fallujah as the vocalist on their most recent record, Empyrean (read our review here). However, since long before his time with Fallujah, Schaefer has used Archaeologist as an outlet for a breadth of progressive metal output that demonstrates his ambitions as an instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer. I first started following Archaeologist after the release of the Volume I EP in 2013. Now, Schaefer is back with a new full-length record, Elements, and we are proud to premiere the fourth single from the record, “Spark”, for all of you instrumental progressive metal fans:
As an instrumental composer myself, I’ve always struggled with finding titles that fit tracks without lyrics. Archaeologist has absolutely nailed describing this track with the title “Spark”. A joyful tune that meshes pop punk optimism and energy with progressive technicality and melodicism, the song captures the feeling of inspiration that seems to be a central theme behind the upcoming record, as Schaefer describes:
‘Elements is an exercise in unrestrained spontaneity. Many of these songs were written and recorded within a single day, eventually resulting in a massive 20-track collection which sees Archaeologist covering more ground than ever before.’
This spontaneous, creative spirit is central to the brief but expressive “Spark”. Rhythmic guitars dance interweave with a dynamic drum beat that, together, evoke comparisons to influences that include upbeat pop punk, danceable funk, and the melodic positivity of Intervals. The virtuosic Wes Thrailkill then graces the track with a suitably stunning solo, bringing the 2:11 track to an impressive climax before repeating the main theme in a percussive finale. The track is also a shift in tone from the record’s previous singles, suggesting that we can expect a dynamic full-length on June 30.