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Arsis - Visitant

by Martin Knap at 15 October 2018, 2:42 PM

As a preface to the review I must admit ARSIS is one band that I have slept on, I always knew of the band, I’ve heard their songs, but never delved deeper into their discography. This gives me the advantage of approaching the album with a more open mind, the downside is that I can’t say much about how their newest release compares to their earlier ones. The band has been around since the year 2000, so I have some catching up to do, especially because “Visitant” turned out to be such a killer album. ARSIS are labeled (characterized might be a better word, but people seem to like having everything classified into neat sub-categories when it comes to Metal) as Technical Melodic Death Metal which sounds about right – some of the riffs could be broadly described as “techy” (i.e. a bit more complicated than the usual sort), but the music also has some of the catchiness and groove of Melodic Death Metal or Thrash. In other words, songwriting is not overshadowed by technical wankery, ARSIS want to kick ass and have fun at it too.

The first song “Tricking the Gods” has a dark, brooding intro, after which we get punched straight in the face by blast-beats and catchy, a bit complicated riffs. We find a healthy dose of groovy riffs too and the chorus has memorable hook. “Hell Sworn” starts with some DISSECTION-y riffs and blast beats that provide a thick, blackened atmosphere, the song then shifts to rhythmic, galloping riffs. The chorus sounds relaxed compared to the rest of the song and has an almost pleasant melody. We can hear some more blackened atmospherics in the song “As Deep As Your Flesh”, where there blackened part comes before the melodic but groovier  verse, and it resurfaces again in an instrumental mid-section. “A Pulse Keeping the Time With the Dark” is a standout song on the album. With it’s simple yet powerful melodies, slower rhythm and thick atmosphere it reminds me vaguely of HYPOCRISY, even the vitriol and energy in the vocals remind me of Peter Tagtgren. After this mid-tempo-ish song comes the very fast and aggressive Thrash jam “Funeral Might” hits you over the head like a brick. The B-side overall is really solid, I won’t mention any other specific songs because there isn’t one that stands out to me, but I don’t have anything bad to say either.

ARSIS really know how to do their thing, the songs are tight, they write great riffs and hooks, what I like is also that they can be versatile – combining different sounds and atmospheres together. Of course a Death Metal album will always be somewhat one dimensional, but this one is great for what is.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Tricking the Gods
2. Hell Sworn
3. Easy Prey
4. Fathoms
5. As Deep as Your Flesh
6. A Pulse Keeping Time with the Dark
7. Funeral Might
8. Death Vow
9. Dead Is Better
10. Unto the Knife
11. His Eyes (Pseudo Echo cover)
James Malone – Guitars, Vocals
Noah Martin – Bass
Shawn Priest – Drums
Brandon Ellis – Guitars
Record Label: Agonia Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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