If 2012's 'With Us Until You're Dead' - Archive's first UK-released album in a decade - was a timely reminder of their manifest strengths, then the London based collective's epic new album Axiom underlines exactly what we've been deprived of - a part-orchestral, part-electronic, part-soulful, part-progressive and wholly emotion-soaked panorama of restlessly inventive, haunting beauty.
The difference this time is that the album consists of one continuous 40-minute piece of music that evolves through seven tracks ('Distorted Angels', 'Axiom', 'Baptism', 'Transmission Data Terminate', 'The Noise of Flames Crashing', 'Shiver' and 'Axiom (Reprise)'. The music shifts between styles and also singers (Pollard Berrier, Dave Pen, Holly Martin and Maria Quintile all return from the last album) to create a breathtaking sensarround sound, incorporating both dream-like and more darkly ominous passages, punctuated by a panoply of beats, and the unexpected appearance of church bells.
"Recording the bells at Greenwich church certainly set the ball rolling to what became 'Axiom'," recalls Darius Keeler, the long-standing core of Archive alongside Danny Griffiths. "I'm not a hundred per cent sure what I had in mind when I decided we should record the bells, but I just felt it would be important somehow in the genesis of the new record. The music came first; the album was written seamlessly, with one idea falling into another, one singer falling into another. It's a musical journey with a clear beginning and end, but you can certainly pull out six parts that could be distinguished as songs."
"In terms of a lyrical theme, the beautiful thing about the 'Axiom' writing process was that it was not contrived at all, so the lyrics kind of happened in real time as the music went on its journey. The interesting thing is one song's lyrics had a knock-on effect to another so it all tied together as an abstract but coherent story."
Given the cinematic nature of Archive's music, it made perfect sense to complement their most ambitious project to date with a short film, made by the acclaimed Spanish film collective NYSU. "Every time we make an album," says Keeler, "somebody says it sounds like the soundtrack to a movie that hasn't been made. Well, this time, we decided to make the movie. We've always harboured ambitions to bring together our music and the filmmaking process."
Judging by the 90-second trailer, 'Axiom' the film (shot in a beautifully rich, glowing B&W) is a dystopian fantasy, with elements of '1984' and 'V For Vendetta', reflecting the album's personal and political themes of despair and disconnection. And there are more of those church bells...
NYSU director Jesus Hernandez: "'Archive' has produced a great album that works like an entire movie script. We saw our role as composers of a kind of visual soundtrack for the music. Our challenge was to translate the band's script into images; it's the most exciting project we've ever been involved with."
Keeler: "During the recording process, it became clear that 'Axiom' was different to a normal album, and at that point we knew we had to make a film to accompany it. Then it all made sense and things just started to fall in to place."
'Axiom' the film will receive it's world premier at the London Sundance Film Festival on Friday 25th April. The band will also be performing the album live to accompany the film at a one-off worldwide exclusive performance at the London Roundhouse on May 29th. This will be Archive's biggest UK show to date, following sold-out shows in the capital last year at Heaven and Koko, confirming their homeland is finally catching up with the band's long-standing popularity across Europe.
31 Jul, 2019
Archive: European Tour Update
Archive have announced more details of their forthcoming '25th Anniversary' European tour, many dates of which are already sold out.
01 Feb, 2019
2019 marks Archive's 25th anniversary, and to celebrate they have announce the release of '25', a career-spanning Retrospective collection, on May 10th. '25' comes in various formats and includes unreleased songs and collaborations, such as our new single 'Remains Of Nothing' feat. Band of Skulls, as well as new songs with Holly, Maria, Dave and Pollard.
01 Feb, 2019
Archive: '25' 2019 TOUR
Archive will embark on their 49 date tour starting in May 2019..
Tickets available at:
28 Jan, 2019
Archive: Retrospective Album & Tour
South London collective Archive announce details of a career-spanning 25th anniversary Retrospective collection '25', set for release on Dangervisit, through [PIAS] on May 10th.
'25' comes in various formats, including a six-LP deluxe box set, 43 tracks drawn from the collective's career, including 8 new and previously unreleased songs, a 10" EP and 7" single - featuring collaborations with Band Of Skulls and Steve Mason amongst others. All beautifully packaged, together with a 160 page book featuring new interviews with Archive members past and present, plus photos from Archive's private collection.
Archive celebrate the release of '25' with an already sold out appearance at the ultra-prestigious, 6,000 capacity, La Seine Musicale venue in Paris on May 16th.
The special concert marks the 25th anniversary of the collective's formation in Croydon, South London in 1994.
Twelve studio albums in to their career, Archive have headlined festivals throughout Europe and grown to be one of the UK's biggest live exports to the continent, whilst cultivating a hardcore fan base in their home country.
Talking about the '25' project, Archive founding member Darius Keeler said, "It felt like the right moment to take a breath, take stock of how far we've come on this journey of ours. I'm really proud of the work we've done as a collective over the years, and I'm excited to be celebrating that work in 2019."
"It's also been a great opportunity to collaborate with some new people, I think the track with Band Of Skulls ('Remains Of Nothing') is one of the best things we've ever done, and working with Steve Mason was a real honour too", says Keeler.
First taster from '25' comes in the form of new single 'Remains Of Nothing' – feat Band Of Skulls, which is released today.
Following the album release in May, Archive will be heading out on a massive European and the UK tour.
Tickets go on sale Fri 1st February at 10am CET (9am GMT).
27 Sep, 2018
Archive: La Seine Musicale, Paris
Archive will play La Seine Musicale in Paris on 16th May 2019.
10 May, 2017
Archive: 'The False Foundation' European Tour
Archive have announced details of their 'The False Foundation' tour, throughout Europe in November 2017.
See their artist page for full details.
09 May, 2017
Archive: New Video & European Tour
Following a highly successful 2016 which saw their tenth studio album 'The False Foundation' released to excellent reviews followed by a massive sold-out tour, Archive have today announced news of the final leg of touring for the album, taking it across Europe throughout November.
The band have also shared a video for the track 'Splinters' from the album.
Speaking about the tour and video Archive founder Darius Keeler says: "We're very excited to announce the final leg of our 'Kings Of The False Foundation' tour; the shows we did around the album release last year we're without doubt some of the best Archive has ever played. We really pushed the boundaries in terms of production and the visual presentation of the show, I can't wait to take it back out on the road. 'Splinters' is one of the stand-out tracks from the False Foundation album for me, and live it's such an intense experience. It feels like Archive is in a great place creatively right now".
See artist page for tour dates.
07 Dec, 2016
Archive: Hurricane & Southside Festivals
Archive will appear at both the Hurricane & Southside festivals in Germany on the weekend of 23rd-25th June 2017.
26 Aug, 2016
Archive: New Album 'The False Foundation'
Archive's new album 'The False Foundation' is released on 7th October, which features 'Driving In Nails'.
Pre-order from the link below.
25 Jun, 2016
Archive: New Video 'Driving In Nails'
Archive unveil their new video for 'Driving In Nails', from the forthcoming album 'The False Foundation' to be released on 7th October on their own Dangervisit label.