Review Summary: With Era of the Omnipotent, Aristeia successfully introduce their fresh melodic take on deathcore, breathing new life into a drab, dried-up genre.
Aristeia is a 4-piece deathcore band from San Fernando Valley, CA. This is my first review!
So I suppose we should start with the name. When I first discovered Aristeia, I kept thinking to myself "what the hell is an aristeia?". Well according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristeia), it's an Ancient Greek phrase indicating the point in a battle that the hero has his finest moments. I'm not sure if that's what the band was referencing, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.
But onto the music! How can Aristeia, a deathcore act, distinguish themselves in a world saturated with similar bands with similar sounds? Well step one is to have high quality recordings, and this is probably the first thing you notice about Era of the Omnipotent. Save the bass, all instruments are distinct and clear in the mix – but this is what you would expect from any band in the genre. The overall quality and production value is impressive given they were unsigned at the time.
Production and recording quality can only go so far though, and surprisingly Aristeia come together to successfully craft a solid, fresh sound that has become so rare in the current atmosphere. Era of the Omnipotent starts off with “Anamnesis” which serves as a great way to show the listener what they're in for on the rest of the album. It's a great first track because it highlights the characteristics that define the band: tasteful mix of melodic and djent riffs, alternating of high and low screams, and the drummer's ability to play quite relaxed yet become frantic with blast beats if need be.
The band's heavier side is prominently featured in the second track “Era of the Omnipotent”, which starts off with in your face screaming followed by blast beats, showcasing the more aggressive side of Aristeia. The heaviness doesn't gain much momentum and is offset by “Green Dream” the melodic instrumental third track. Although I think it's a heavy enough song that there could have been vocals, it's still a great song on its own and serves as a nice interlude. “H.A.A.R.P” starts that heavy momentum going again and is the standout track on the EP for me. It just has every element I've come to expect from the band: groovy, heavy, and melodic all mixed in one. By now it is clear that Artisteia has mastered the layering of melodic and ambient parts with the djent and heavy parts. Continuing where Green Dream left off, “Prevaricate” brings us back to that melodic world and then expands to a full song with vocals this time (which further fuels my belief that Green Dream could have had vocals). I feel like the placement of Prevaricate should have been different; perhaps right after Green Dream so the connection between the songs could be more apparent and so they could flow into each other. Finally, “Veilings” successfully rounds out Era of the Omnipotent with more polished Aristeia goodness. Though it starts off reminiscent of “H.A.A.R.P” (which is probably why they put Prevaricate between them), Veilings ends with what is in my opinion the heaviest, grooviest, most melodic breakdown of the record.
So what exactly do we have on our hands here? Well certainly nothing ground-breaking or anything that is going to shatter existence as we know it. But hat's not something we can realistically expect from any band today. Everything in this EP just works well and all the songs are solid, which is more than I can say about most album being put out these days.
So through Era of the Omnipotent, Aristeia introduced to the world a much-needed fresh new sound and did so without a record label pushing an agenda or adding clean vocals to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It shows us what they are capable of and sets up a bright path for future releases (see their new song “Lethal Devotion”). With so many bands trying to expand and evolve the genre of deathcore, Aristeia is one of the few who is successfully pulling it off.