Archery Guild - Manitòk

Manitòk is the second full-length album by Montreal based indie-rockers Archery Guild. This is an imaginative album that comes at you like a wall of sound, which is exactly the kind of thing you'd hope for considering this is a seven-member collective. Archery Guild avoids the pitfalls of a large ensemble by giving each instrument its necessary space. Working together, the group helps construct the musical story without muddying the sound by playing over each other. 

In an interview with The Main, singer and guitarist Michael Cota states that the album recounts a legend he dreamed up inspired by the history of the Algonquin people. This narrative thread is weaved throughout the eclectic mix of sounds. The music sways between hazy psychedelic aesthetics and thumping indie-rock, all while being couch in the world of pop music.

The album opens with "Savage Youth". It has a driving rhythm section accompanied by a shimmering guitar lead that heads to a dizzying spell of sound. The track acts as a gatekeeper opening up and luring us into the album. The introduction of the song, and the album as a whole, is appropriate, well thought out, and fantasy-like compelling us into the legend that is Manitòk

"Blood Comfort" builds slowly to a whirlwind that absolutely takes flight. The crescendo is energetic and catchy, and if you're listening to this track in public, be warned, you'll begin to groove.

"The New Flesh" rides the emotion of Cota's vocals right into the waves of a pugilistic horn solo that punches the track to a scream. It's an exciting buildup.

Manitòk's narrative and music pushes you through to the world that Archery Guild has created. Many of the tracks build to an exciting crescendo, almost chaotic in form that is kept in check by tightly confined rhythm section. The result is an experience that both pulls at the heartstrings and induces some hop jumping feet palpitations.

Final rating: 4/5

--Fredy M. Iuni hosts Hiway 1, Sundays at 1:00 pm on CJLO