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Aronious - Perspicacity Award winner

by Mark Machlay at 28 January 2020, 4:34 AM

Active since 2011, Green Bay’s ARONIOUS have only released one promising EP, 2014s “Truth in Perception”. They have always taken a more nebulous take on the technical death metal sound and have never felt comfortable in a straight-ahead take on the style. With some material already written before this EP’s release, their full-length debut has been gestating, creating a lot of anticipation for their next creative endeavor. The band admits that the recording process was a “long and tedious one” as they scrupulously analyzed each part to be sure they have something new and different to discover with this release.

The 13-track concept album “Perspicacity” is the result of their laborious process and it is well worth the wait. It is full of odd-time signatures, break-neck sweep-picking, and brutal growls/screams that kicks you right in the face and leaves you whirling. The guitar prowess of Ryan Brumic and Nick Meyers is on full display on “Digital Age” in which the guitar solos and harmonies seem to get faster and faster coming out of an ethereal, spacey interlude that doesn’t let up, or on “Eternal Subjugation” in which they start with an almost pleading, plaintive line punctuated with insane tremolo picking runs up and down the neck. Being mastered by acclaimed music producer Mark Lewis who has worked with Black Dahlia Murder, Beneath the Massacre, and Whitechapel among others, ensures a tight sound and wonderful production.

The band is wildly progressive, technical and brutal all at the same time. This is evidenced by the double instrumental tracks of “Modernity Pt. 1 and 2”. The guitar lines here are neoclassical in reminiscence among the otherworldly shifting rhythms of drummer Sean Smith. Part 1 is like a beautiful dream, while Part 2 takes you through crazy time shifts and riffage to keep any prog-head satisfied. They are unmercifully short, however and it would have benefited all the instrumentalists’ clout to think of continuing these, not simply into noodling “wank-fests” but tastefully and organically sprinkle them throughout an album. They were quite the welcome addition.

The throat blasting guttural vocals of Zach Earley play a huge role in grabbing the listener as well. “A Grim Fate” is the best indication of his variability with his vocal style as he seems to adopt a looser, more guttural tone that makes the poignancy of the lyrics to be brought to the forefront better. But in the final track, released prior to the album to whet their fans appetite, “Inconclusive”, it features an overlaying of both Zach and drummer Sean Smith’s additional backing vocals that makes for an interesting blend of craziness. ARONIOUS will hopefully continue to grow in their unique blend of tech-death/ progressive death metal. Let us hope that it won’t be six years before their next full-length album.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Perspicacity Part 1
2. Perspicacity Part 2
3. Somatic Evolvement
4. The Passage of Knowledge
5. An Assembled Reality
6. Modernity Part 1 (Instrumental)
7. Modernity Part 2 (Instrumental)
8. Eternal Subjugation
9. Self Induced Affliction
10. The Digital Age
11. Delusions of Superiority
12. A Grim Fate
13. Inconclusive
Zach Earley – Vocals
Ryan Brumlic – Guitar
Nick Weyers - Guitar
Evan Neiman - Bass
Sean Smith - Drums/Backing Vocals
Record Label: The Artisan Era


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