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Ara – Jurisprudence

Ara
Jurisprudence
by Cherie Wong at 28 April 2020, 11:39 PM

On May 15, 2020, ARA releases “Jurisprudence.” ARA is a progressive/technical death metal band from Wisconsin. Its members have been in a myriad of other bands, most notably NORTHLESS, a sludge/post-rock band that is also from Wisconsin. ARA formed in 2012 and has since released an EP titled “The Blessed Sleep” in 2012 and their debut full-length “Devourer of Worlds” in 2014. The artwork for this album is done by the always amazing Eliran Kantor.

Though ARA plays progressive/technical death metal, their style strays from the overly complex riff driven technical death metal that has become popular in recent years. Like other progressive metal bands, their music is a bit complex, with multiple tempo changes and multiple musical influences within a track. Like other technical death metal bands, their music is layered, with plenty of dissonant riffs. Like other death metal bands, their music is relentlessly brutal and heavy, with low death growls and blast beats throughout. ARA is a good mix of progressive, technical, and death.

The opening track “Ashen” sets the tone for the album. The first half of the track is brutal death metal, but with unique choices in production and riffs. The latter half takes a slower and doomier approach. “Mythos,” the next track, shifts between fast and mid-tempo in pace, but always with riffs that are out of the ordinary. The next track is “Cytokine Storm.” Like its title, the track is a maelstrom of blast beats and dissonant riffs. The beginning of the fourth track “Etymologicide” is a showcase of how dense and complex ARA’s music is. The outro of this track is probably the most headbang worthy riff on the album.

The titular track “Jurisprudence” is similar to the rest of the tracks on this album in that it is dense, heavy, and brutal. However, there are unique elements to this track, like the almost tribal drumbeats that showed up for the briefest moment, or a melodic guitar riff that also shows up for the briefest moment. “Excursus Praestinguo” is a quick minute and a half instrumental. Compared to other tracks, it is set to a glacial pace. That’s all well and good, because “Abhortion” is faster and heavier.  Other than that, it is a fairly straightforward death metal track. The closer “Pounded into the Multiverse” is as lovely of a time as the title promises. It is as brutal as the rest of the tracks, but slowly, through the deterioration of the riff and pace, climaxes to a solid finish on the album.

Overall, “Jurisprudence” is a great sophomore effort from ARA. An amalgamation of many musical ideas presented in a progressive/technical death metal album that defies the conventional technical death metal of the past decade. Though there could be better transitions between thoughts in their music, I have no doubt that ARA will continue to mature and put out even better music.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ashen
2. Mythos
3. Cytokine Storm
4. Etymologicide
5. Jurisprudence
6. Excursus Praestinguo
7. Abhortion
8. Pounded into the Multiverse
Lineup:
James Becker – Bass Guitars/ Vocals
Adam Bujny – Vocals
Jerry Hauppa – Guitars
Erik Stenglein – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 08 October 2022
 

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