When ARSIS debuted on the Metal scene with their album “A Celebration Of Guilt”, everyone was taken back. Could a Technical Death Metal band have that much melody and still be so brutal? I know that I was taken back and I listened to that album as much as I could. Then came the release of their EP, “A Diamond For Disease” which once again, had ARSIS pushing the boundaries of their own style and sound and included one of the most epic Death Metal pieces ever written. So now the mark as been pushed even further for the release of ARSIS’ second album, “United In Regret”. Does it match up to the prior victories for ARSIS?
The answer to that question is not a simple yes and no. “United In Regret” has the band stripping down a little bit of the intense technicality and moving towards a little harsher tone. Now when I say a little bit, I still mean that ARSIS plays very technical and complex music even on this disc. So don’t be too afraid yet. There is still finger shredding leads and solos over the complex riffs along with diverse bass and drum patterns that switch quickly and massively.
What I mean is that the production and writing style on “United In Regret” has the technicality pulled back slightly from the forefront. There is more of an emphasis on the rhythms rather than the shred. This isn’t a bad thing although I will admit that I didn’t enjoy this release near as much as I enjoyed their first two.
There is an awesome sense of song writing though on this album and instead of drastic changes there is a good solid fluidity to the music. “The Cold Resistance” is a good example of such. It starts off with some intense riffing and leads but by halfway through, there is a section where it slows down and an awesome melodic section occurs. Then it goes straight back to the more technical work. This fluidity is quite impressive and it just shows that maybe ARSIS is pushing their music in a slightly different direction now.
So, does this album match up to the scores that ARSIS has made? Not quite…“United In Regret” is a slightly different approach for ARSIS to take for song writing. I may not have enjoyed it quite as much as their first two releases, but this album is nothing to laugh at either. It’s still a killer release from a technically impressive band that never ceases to amaze me. Vocalist/guitarist James Malone may be one of the best Metal song writers of the last 10 years.
Songs to check out: “Oh The Humanity”, “Lust Before The Maggots Conquest”, “The Cold Resistance”.
(Online March 4, 2008)