ARSIS’ full length album “A Celebration Of Guilt” is one of the best melodic Death Metal releases by a newcomer in recent years. “A Diamond For Disease” follows suit, blending melody and aggression seamlessly for an astonishing 20 minute punch.
There have been a few changes since ARSIS’ full length. The most noticeable is that the title track of this EP is a behemoth of a tune, clocking in at over twelve minutes. James Malone’s growling, fiendish vocals sound a bit more tame and lower in the mix on this release. He still maintains his vicious style of delivery, however, which is all the more impressive when the listener learns considers that Malone is also responsible for all guitars on the recording and live performances. ARSIS may be to melodic Death Metal what NECROPHAGIST is to technical Death Metal; James Malone has supernatural powers behind the frets of a guitar. He effortlessly weaves dozens of complex leads via sweeps and shreds throughout any given ARSIS song. Accompanying him as the only other band member on the recording is Michael VanDyne on drums, who is an equally talented musician. VanDyne hammers at light speed, constantly keeping the drumming as impressive as Malone’s guitar chops.
Although the title track is unabashedly lengthy, it is rarely repetitive. It may lack direction at points, but with a band this tight and talented and with so little released material to choose from, a listener can hardly complain. The cover of Alice Cooper's “Roses On White Lace” is extremely fun, heavy and has one of the most infectious choruses ever played in a metal cover. “The Promise Of Never” is more of the same as heard on the title track and it’s just as great. The song is much shorter than the title track, but it still contains nonstop superb riffs, leads, vocals and drums.
“A Diamond For Disease” is a very impressive and entertaining listen and should get fans of melodic Death Metal foaming at the mouth to hear ARSIS’ sophomore album, “Lust Before The Maggots Conquest,” due in the fall of 2006. (Online September 23, 2006)