It's taken more than three years for Archaios's new disc The Distant to come to fruition. They've faced budgetary shortfalls, technical failures, lack of proper recording facilities, and censorship in their home country of the Dominican Republic. This is far more than any metal band should have to endure. "The best thing that came out from this experience was that we were able to put to the test our level of commitment with our band and the music we love."
The Distant came out 11.11.11 on Dark Canvas Records. The mixing and mastering was done in a very ingenious way. Needs must when the devil drives, as they say. Eric Cruz elaborates, "At that time (early 2011) the first engineer we were working with in Santo Domingo gave up after having to mix the whole album three or four times because of many technical problems and other limitations. Kanky Lora (Straight Line Stitch, Cavalera Conspiracy, Marc Rizzo) was a friend of ours for many years. He was the best sound engineer that came to mind. He had his studio located in Chicago, Illinois. We didn't fly there to do the mixing and mastering. We didn't have that kind of money since the album was already over budget due to the constant delays. We did everything through email and phone and despite the distance, everything went well. We're really pleased with the sound of the album."
It's a true Cinderella story - rags to not quite totally unlike riches. What began as a self-financed venture gave way to Dark Canvas Records offering the band a deal which saved their asses. The gods were definitely smiling on them because one of their songs ended up being featured on Metal Hammer's CD compilation! "Our manager, Ramon, received an email from James Gill, one of Metal Hammer's editors, asking him if the band would be interested in participating in Volume 3 of their popular compilation Global Metal. We were blown away and said yes without thinking about it too much. I think they were looking for bands with certain level of international potential and saw something in Archaios. Some people have contacted us just to say we're the band they enjoy the most on the CD. That's a huge compliment! The funny thing is that we almost didn't make the cut because the original email went to Ramon's spam mail. He always checks the junk before deleting and that's how he discovered this great opportunity."
That's not bad for a band that was singled out for censorship. The Dominican Republic is a conservative country. Archaios and other metal bands routinely get shut down and blamed for social ills. Eric Cruz explains, "Like many other metal bands in our country, we've served as a distraction for politicians and the media to have their way of hiding other stories they don't want people to focus on. Because we are a band that has been active for such a long time, it's easier for them to point their fingers at us since we are familiar faces in these types of defamatory campaigns. They label us as Satanists, drug traffickers, and even relate us with violent crimes and assassinations. As a result, we've been banned from playing in many local venues, the local radio and most of the public spots where we can appear publicly. Our options as a band are very limited right now. Censorship also translates into not having venues to play at times, having no coverage of any of our shows, zero sponsorship, and worse of all, to be constantly afraid of being connected by the authorities and media with acts of violence and other crimes. It's so bad that there is only one show on a radio station that plays metal music for a couple of hours a week and its organizers have no commercial help or sponsorship in any way. The station had to take the show and call it its own to be able to keep it transmitting since they were not bringing any money to the station due to the lack of sponsors. Commercial entities don't dare work with metal musicians because most of them fear that people will stop buying or consuming their products."
It's a really good thing then that they really want to play live as much as possible. A USA summer tour and plans for Europe are in the works. The band just wants to play in front of as many fans as possible. After many years of hard work and sacrifices, Archaios has crafted a sound that is fresh and innovative. When they do hit the road, you would do well to show your support, line the rail, and head bang the night away!