For those of you who may not know, I’m a huge Bioware Games fan (There’s a point to this okay? Just chill). And Bioware are working on the 4th installment of one of their games. It’s called Mass Effect: Andromeda. Now, that was the first time I’d ever heard that word. Apparently, it’s the name of another Galaxy, umm, okay… I won’t bore you with the space science stuff. So here’s the thing. I was actually kinda skeptical about the “1st Rock Compilation Album in Africa” thing (Is it really?). I have no idea why. However, the moment I heard that the guys, from Kenya, in charge of this project are named just like a game I’m really looking forward to playing, well, most of the skepticism out the window. And now, Underscore The Architect by Andromeda Music (not the Mass Effect game) is out and for the listening pleasure of all.
This Andromeda project actually almost feels like you’re journeying through a whole galaxy, for real. Almost all songs have piano/synth laced parts in the background and each song feels completely different from the next. The album’s first track Quicksand by Saidimu of Dove Slimme features this piano part that reminds me of 30 Seconds to Mars’ Hurricane and has this post-grunge/Hard rock vibe that songs in the early and mid 2000s had. Echoes of Andromeda which features Rish on vocals reminds me of Avril Lavigne’s punk rock sound and is one of the catchiest songs on this album. End the Scourge has Sam from rock band RASH, on vocals and honestly it’s almost easy to think that this song is a RASH song. The riffs are so reminiscent of rock songs by Kiss and Guns N Roses. It’s just really cool.easily
Remember Me by Rish has an interesting modern feel to it. The Claymore Project’s Hello Goodbye was a fun song to listen to but I felt it would have been much cooler if some of the guitar parts were less heavy. Sting Like A Butterfly by Sam Kiranga of Koinange Street Avengers was easily one of my best songs on this album. It’s also one of the most mellow songs which is probably why I like it so much. Then right after the most mellow song on the album you’re greeted by a Staind-esque riff which then transitions into some nearly mathcore riffs and lots of screams.
I like how the album makes you think things are getting mellow, then just hits you in the face with a track like The Great Escape which features both Sam and David Mburu (of RASH and Last Year’s Tragedy, respectively). The next heavy song on the album is In Your Wake. It features Nigeria’s own Danjuma of Metalcore band, 1LastAutograph, dropping some unclean vocals on some simple but catchy riffs. Rish is also on this track, bringing a more melodious touch to the song. Rise of Resistance by David of Last Year’s Tragedy is next and I think fans of bands like Miss May I and As I Lay Dying will LOVE this song. There Will Be No Tomorrow is the next track. And it’s an instrumental. It has some space sci-fi type orchestral stuff going on in the background, with heavy riffs in the foreground. It features the always awesome Skygrave’s Twilight. Then comes the final track, Your Eyes which features Dun Muriira of ParkingLotGrass. It’s also got that whole post-grunge/rock vibe going on. It’s a song I didn’t like on first listen but eventually warmed up to.
Now, I’m sorry if this review seems a little long but there’s so much diversity on the album that I felt it would not be right to let you faithful (and new) readers know at least some of the may things Andromeda has to offer. The songs are well produced and the because of its diversity in the number of sub-genres covered It doesn’t get boring and there is something in it for everyone. The piano parts in one or two songs did feel a little excessive but overall, it really does feel like a musical journey. So please do plan to visit the Andromeda musical galaxy. It’s a journey you will most definitely enjoy. Be sure to buy the full album and support African Rock Music. It’s just $10. Head on over to their Bandcamp and purchase it. Support your local bands!