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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr

Album Review: Archaeologist - 'Elements'

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Progressive solo project Archaeologist turns things up in the genre with sonically hefty and melodically gorgeous new album, Elements.



When it comes to underrated progressive bands, none fit this category better than that of Archaeologist. Kyle Schaefer, the current frontman of Bay Area's death metal band Fallujah, has been working on the augmented solo/band project and has been getting recognition in the music community since 2013. The instrumental effort would find success with the 17-track instrumental experience, Odyessys. This has now catapulted Archaeologist to its next 20-track enterprise, Elements. Made up of mostly brief tracks, many of which were composed and recorded on the same day, Elements takes listeners on an audio journey, segmented into ornamental vignettes of time and space.


With intricate guitar structures pulled together with a full-bodied voltaic ambiance, Kyle Schaefer creates quite the spellbinding instrumental world that only continues to develop further as Elements progresses.

From the beginning, "Calamity," "Clover," and "Seafoam" break onto the surfaces of Elements and gives listeners a small taste of what to expect on such a baroscopic adventure. Seizing the opportunity to convey such an enchanting frequency of differing soundscapes within the first three tracks, Kyle Schaefer shows quickly early on that this will not be your conventional progressive rock experience in more ways than one.


An album that lends itself to building on evolving its immersive dynamics with each track, this is developed even more so with junctures "Sunburst, "Flux" featuring Patrick Corona, and "Stratosphere." With intricate guitar structures pulled together with a full-bodied voltaic ambiance, Kyle Schaefer creates quite the spellbinding instrumental world that only continues to develop further as Elements progresses.

On the record, Schaefer's songs such as "Amethyst," "Permafrost," and "Cerulean" showcase his exceptional musical skills and talent with a stunning display of transcendent melodies and genius-like musicianship. The album's technique is the primary emphasis, demonstrating that every artistic endeavor warrants undivided attention. The meticulous attention to detail and overarching theme serves as the cohesive force that binds the record from beginning to end.

Elements as an album holds well and across as a solid effort from start to finish. As one of the most underrated progressive rock musicians in the Bay area, Schaefer provides some of the most dissonant yet beautifully captivating pieces that make one pause and marvel at the amount of work put into such a project. From the complex guitar work to the layered melodic cadence that flows into every song, this alone is worthy of praise if nothing else is taken from such a gravid experience.

Overall, Elements is cohesive and full-filling, validating Schaefer as not only a talented solo progressive artist but an artistically crafty one at that.



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