ARCHIVE: With Us Until You're Dead – album review

ARCHIVE: With Us Until You’re Dead (Dangervisit Records)
Out Now

Long running electronic / trip hop band ARCHIVE have a new album out, With Us Until You’re Dead. And apparently it’s very good. See Paul Scott-Bates review below for confirmation of this.

I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Archive before. This surprises me as they’ve been going for 18 years!

I’ll be even more honest when I say that With Us Until You’re Dead is an absolute cracker of an album. I’m hooked and can see that I’ll want to investigate them even further.

Intrigued by the Press Release describing them as “Part-orchestral, part-electronic, part-soulful, part-progressive” I now know exactly where that description is coming from. This album is haunting, it has soul, it has real passion. Three years in the making and it’s easy to see why. Archive clearly don’t rush things and there’s a reason for that ”“ they make songs that are perfect.

I’ve spotted several members taking lead vocal on this album which adds a great deal of depth and intrigue.

Violently (my personal favourite) and Hatchet, the lead singles from the album, remind me of Recoil’s Luscious Apparatus from the Unsound Methods album. Tracks that start from something simple and grow and grow and grow into crashes of sound, throbbing basslines and immense voices.

Their debut album, Londinium, was apparently regarded as a trip-hop classic with Peter Gabriel known to be a huge admirer, but despite that they’ve remained somewhat unknown in the UK. In fact, With Us Until You’re Dead is their first album to obtain a UK release despite them being superstars across Europe.

It’s a very diverse album, helped by the multitude of vocalists. The vocals on Damage reminding me of Jon Anderson and those on Things Going Down of Kate Havnevik. Well, that’s my opinion anyway! In fact, so diverse is the album, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that it’s a record label sampler showing off several artists.

I can see some comparisons to Soulsavers’ recent album, The Light The Dead See too. Epic songs, crafted with love, crafted with precision, crafted from the heart. I can hear, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Royksopp, Depeche Mode, Genesis and maybe a bit of Otis Redding? I’ve watched a clip of the making of the album on YouTube and it’s fascinating. The Supersonic Symphony Orchestra feature, and Archive are clearly people who live for their music.

If I’m totally honest, I’m slightly stuck for words. If, like me, you’ve never heard of Archive, all I can suggest is that you check out this album. I love it and have got some serious catching up to do with them!

Oh, and I love the album artwork too!

ARCHIVE’s website is here. They are also on twitter, facebook & youtube.

All words Paul Scott-Bates. Paul’s website (where this first appeared) is Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air.


  1. Hey nice review of the band! Just thought I would suggest you to listen to Controlling Crowds because if you think this one is perfect, wait and listen to that one is simply genious! Advise Bullets and Dangervisit ;)

  2. Well Paul, nice honest review and not surpised when you say’I had never heard of them before’ Reminds me of a trip to London some years back. I went into one of the big media stores in Oxford street and asked the ‘expert’ music salesman where the Archive cds were and he just looked at me in a blank way, saying ‘who’?

    ‘Stuck for words’ would also be the expression when I first saw Archive live in Colmar, Alsace, France in 2004; They were sharing the bill with Massive attack. I didn’t know them and to be honest I didn’t want to since I was there for MA! Well believe me or not but I was blown away by their performance and the MA concert after was really insignificant to me.

    So that was the beginning of my voyage with the Archive collective. If you like this album Paul try to get your hands on their older stuff. You will certainly be impressed. And of course pass the message. This is one group that you don’t hear on French radio, but they are big in France, simply because of their concerts and word of mouth. ATB John in Alsace, France ;-)


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