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Arsis - We Are The Nightmare (CD)

Arsis
We Are The Nightmare
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 22 April 2008, 3:38 PM

I find kind of challenging to review an album that is difficult to 'tag' and, in most of the times, this procedure becomes interesting after some additional CD spins. This situation applies to the new ARSIS album, We Are The Nightmare, that is released through Nuclear Blast in the mid of this April.
This album is the band's third full-length release since United In Regret, that hit the stores in 2006. I wouldn't know more about this band except only they had played as a supporting act to the excellent EXODUS live performance at The Pearl Room at Mokena, IL (I assume that you have already read my report from that concert).
The album opens with the homonymous track, revealing the band's intentions to do what DEATH did with their groundbreaking album Human back in 1991. This means, blending Progressive Metal especially in the guitars and the rhythm changes, with straightforward Death Metal breaks. Fortunately, ARSIS is not a copycat band and try to get their own perspective in this difficult to present music genre. I say difficult because you either love or hate it; there is no average situation where you think that it's just OK. The vocals have strong Black Metal foundations and this adds some points towards diversity and - why not? - originality. The twin guitars work just fine, spitting out some shredding riffs while moving on sophisticated patterns that definitely need additional CD spins to be digested. Slightless Wisdom brings some Melodic Death Metal elements with catchy melodies and guitar hooks. Although the drums work is solid as hell and presents some interesting breaks, it suffers on the sound side; the snare has a rather dry sound that - to my humble ears - blurs the whole outcome. The Black Metal additions make another appearance in the fast breaks (almost blastbeats) that are scattered in (virtually) every song. Overthrown comprises very good Melodic Death riffs that could be resembled to the prime IN FLAMES, especially on the tempo side while  A Feast For The Liar's Tongue and most of  My Oath To Madness step hard on the gas and gain some speed reaching, the Black Metal territories.
Since I am a fan of DEATH prime and latest work I really enjoyed ARSIS' album and cursed my bad luck for not checking them onstage. The album is no easy to digest, especially if you are not familiar to this Technical Death Metal stuff and will need more auditions tha usual. On the other hand, if you know this genre then  We Are The Nightmare will be one of your favorites and probably make it to your best album of the year list. If only it had a better sound/production…

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
We Are The Nightmare
Shattering The Spell
Sightless Wisdom
Servants To The Night
Failing Winds Of Hopeless Greed
Overthrown
Progressive Entrapment
A Feast For The Liar's Tongue
My Oath To Madness
Failure's Conquest
Lineup:
James Malone - Guitar, Vocals
Noah Martin - Bass
Ryan Knight - Guitar
Darren Cesca - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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