New Music Spotlight: QYN - Archetype
By: James Titford
Making an album can be a time-consuming process, while some albums can boast they took a week or less to be made, others take years to finally come to fruition. The latter is the case for Qyn’s debut album “Archetype”, released on February 13th, 2020, as the project has been in the works for about 11 years.
Originally formed in 2009 by Chris Feener and Johnny Ennis, Qyn has been crafting a progressive metal power-house for over a decade, and it’s been well worth the wait. All members of the group have other musical projects they are involved in which contributed to the lengthy making of the album, but also ensured Qyn is at the top of their game.
This isn’t amateur hour, this is a group of seasoned musicians bringing their talents and passions together for a project they’ve envisioned for a long time.
Many debut albums often fall into the trap of having elements that feel out of place to the album as a whole, which is understandable, most debut albums are a band or artist finding their own sound and taking chances, but “Archetype” is far from the typical debut.
Qyn sounds like an experienced group that’s been together for years (which they are), with a focused vision of how each song and the album as a whole needs to sound. Seeing as the album took so long to make it gave the band time to work through ideas and influences to define a sound and style unique to them.
Part of the charm of Qyn is that they are not afraid to show their influences of other prog metal groups throughout the album without coming across like they’re trying to copy or be a “worship” band.
On tracks like “Finale”, you can hear the influence of groups like Protest The Hero and Coheed and Cambria with their high-energy, fast-paced technical riffs that are still catchy and exciting.
The crushing, djent-esque riffs in “The Insignificant” bring to mind Periphery and Meshuggah with their heavy, low-end rhythmic approach.
The closing track “Adversarial” even shows shades of the alternative metal of bands like Deftones and A Perfect Circle with their focus on ambience and vocals with the rhythm slowly building behind it.
By finding the balance of variety in their influences and their own originality Qyn have a sound that will grab the attention of prog metal fans, but also stand on its own outside of comparisons.
The vocals are another strong point of the album, ranging from the powerful delivery on the opener “TWIGTD”, to the previously mentioned “Adversarial” where the vocals have less of an aggressive approach but retain the same level of power and strength.
This isn’t a short album either, clocking in around an hour and four minutes across ten tracks, there is a lot to take in on this album in terms of the solid songwriting, catchy hooks, and the technical proficiency of the band as a whole.
Another thing that makes the album stand out as a prog metal album is that it never feels too self-indulgent when it comes to showing off the skills of the musicians. Yes, there are solos and musically challenging sections, but these all feel necessary to the album and not just there to show how well they can play their instruments, which is refreshing.
Qyn put in the time and effort to make an excellent album that will please any fan of modern progressive-metal with its familiar yet unique sound that plays to the strength of the genre.
Album Streaming Links: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/qyn/archetype-2
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/qynband/
BONUS LISTEN: Qyn founder Chris Feener just released a solo EP called Revisions. Check it out here: https://ffm.to/chrisfeener. Mike Portnoy, Jeff Scott Soto, and Steel Panther's Satchel all agree the snare sounds like shit!