When ARSIS released their latest EP “Lepers Caress”, I was taken back. I knew they were recording new music, but I didn’t expect to see anything until much later. When Scion A/V decided to release it FOR FREE, I was even more surprised. Indeed, it was a nice little Christmas gift. Naturally when things are free I tend to like them better, but in the case of ARSIS’ new batch of music it’s hard to go wrong. The release might be a brief stint of musical output, but that doesn’t stop these American Melodic Death Metallers from continuing to pound out solid material.
What makes this EP such an interesting listen is that it covers quite a bit of ground within the nuance of sounds that ARSIS has dabbled in. After kicking off with a melodic and dissonant intro, the band kicks into “Six Coffins Wide” which really utilizes that Rock influence of riffs that littered their previous record and pops with the guttural hissing of James Malone’s vocals on the catchy chorus. This technical, but drawn back Melodic Death Metal infused with some more traditional moments is what I expected from the American band since it was the sound they embraced most recently and for that I dug in for something of a similar ilk.
The rest of “Lepers Caress” does not follow suit though. The rest of the record is more along the lines of what ARSIS developed on their first two records. Striking that brilliant balance between melodic technical guitar wizardry, bombarding drum work with double bass to rattle the skull, and ferocious Thrash injected riffing. “Veil Of Mourning Black” is a re-recorded early track so it’s understandable there, but the essential ‘return to form’ that the rest of the EP takes will have many long time fans cheering. It’s dense, technical, catchy, and overall some of the best Melodic Death Metal your apt to hear in the next few years as Malone and company pummel out three more stunning tracks to end out the release.
“Lepers Caress” might be short and it might not be anything we haven’t heard from ARSIS before, but the band continues to fire on all cylinders with their records and this is just one more success to add to their already impressive back catalog. Fans will definitely want to pick it up for their collection and since IT’S FREE at the Scion A/V website, newcomers should pick it up for a taste of some great Metal too.
Songs to check out: “Six Coffins Wide”, “A Tearful Haunt, Condemned”, “Denied.”
(Online January 7, 2013)