God bless metal 

On Saturday, the Becoming the Archetype that steps onto The Conservatory stage on Saturday won’t resemble the one that first did so back in 1999. The last founding member left in 2011, making songwriter/guitarist/singer Seth Hecox the most tenured member, having joined in 2004.

The Atlanta act looks to have eternal life, regardless.

“Perseverance is a trait I’ve come to value and appreciate more. It’s more or less what I’ve tried to perpetuate in the band,” Hecox said. “Nine years is not a lifetime, but in terms of metal, it’s pretty close.”

The one thing that has remained the same is the message; Becoming the Archetype is up-front with its Christian roots, the name a nod to God making man in his image. While many groups have their faith tested with sex, drugs and record deals, this death (and resurrection?) metal act has stayed true to its beliefs.

“As people mature, they become less dogmatic and less confident in what they believe. It’s the nature of the age at which these sorts of bands start. The world seems a little more black-and-white,” Hecox said. “As you experience more, you become a lot less sure of the particulars. Still, the fundamentals of our faith haven’t changed, regardless of our new views on social and fringe issues. We still believe there is a good God, and that’s kept us in that vein.”

The band has released five studio albums since 2005, including last year’s I Am, its most fully realized effort to date.

“Our ideas used to be more farflung,” Hecox said. “Our goal here was to just write songs that fit together and had an easy flow.”

The message behind the album lent itself to that.

“It’s one of the first semi-concept albums we’ve ever done,” Hecox said. “Everything on this album is written from the first-person perspective, and it’s a very mythical version of the work of Jesus Christ. It’s huge and epic in scope.”

Naturally, they felt like the music video for lead single “The Time Bender” should be similarly epic, sporting a Frank Miller-inspired, graphic-novel narrative.

“We weren’t going to have us just playing the song out in a pasture or some warehouse. We wanted a cool story and a good concept,” Hecox said. “It was like, ‘Well, let’s see how good we are at acting.’” The band’s sense of humor — the current trek is dubbed the Brule’s Rules Tour, for John C. Reilly’s Tim & Eric character — serves as reminders that while Archetype is preaching a message, it’s not too self-serious.

“We just want to make good music and have a good time,” Hecox said. “If that stops happening, then we’ll call it quits.”

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Joshua Boydston

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