Arsis
A Celebration of Guilt


5.0
classic

Review

by Kit Brown USER (73 Reviews)
February 20th, 2006 | 249 replies | 29,247 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A Celebration of Guilt is the perfect combination of melody, technicality, catchiness and brutality. Should you ever invest in modern American metal, let it be this.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

There are some albums that change the way you look on a genre of music. Each style has one or a few releases that just make the listener go "...wow." I've had a few of these experiences before. Such is the case for the melodic death metal band Arsis and their release...

A Celebration of Guilt

Here's a little biography of the band just to fill you in on what they're all about. Arsis, a Virginia based duo, has come to change all of that. With merely two men, Arsis has created brutal, fast, technical, and amazingly melodic death metal capable of putting their Scandinavian predecessors to shame. Monsterous drumming, face-ripping solos, and spine-crushing riffs have formed a musical force that took no time at all to develope a dedicated following in the underground music world. Metal fans across the world hav embraced their debut, A Celebration of Guilt, as the pinnacle of modern american metal. And now with the arrival of their new EP A Diamond for Disease, Arsis relentlessly continues to release a pure metal onslaught that will either leave you banging your head or begging for mercy. (by ShadowsFallen)

Arsis is:
James Malone - Vocals, Guitars, and Bass
Mike van Dyne -Drums

From the second the album kicks in with "The Face of My Innocence", I was entertained and amazed by these guys skill and songwriting ability. The first thing to say about these guys is their ability to just ignore trends alltogether which I deeply admire. American metal these days has been more or less along the lines of metalcore and nu-metal. Arsis doesn't seem to care at all and they have picked up somewhat of a Gothenburg sound which is very similar so such bands as At the Gates and maybe a bit of In Flames. Arsis isn't out to be popular. They aren't out to sell millions of records. It seems that they're simply out there to create great metal. You can't ask for more than that, now can you?

I first heard about Arsis from some of my friends at school. We were talking about technical bands and they were mentioned, so I went to go check them out. If you want a technical metal album, look no further than here. There are plenty of guitar and drum parts that are some of the best I've heard in recent years. Arsis sound a bit similar to Necrophagist in a way, but they take away some of the technicality to make it easier to listen to. This band has mastered the fine line of balancing technicality and songwriting to make a killer release.

James Malone is a man of many talents. As you can see from the band members, this man covers three different tasks in the band and does them all with flying colors. While his bass work throughout the album is often hard to hear, when you can hear it it's solid and compliments the songs greatly. Secondly, his vocals are wonderful. He has a voice similar such bands like Dissection, Arch Enemy, and Lamb of God in some parts. He's got the quintessential voice for melodic death metal. What makes it so enjoyable is that you can understand his lyrics without having to read them.

While these are all great parts about Malone, I haven't even mentioned his greatest part: his guitar work. Arsis' guitar riffs and solos are the highlight of the entire album, and for good reason. Each and every song is just loaded with incredibly well crafted and technical riffs that will leave your neck sore from headbanging. There are plenty of key changes and time signature changes throughout that will please all of the fans of prog metal and technical death metal out there. There are also plenty of shred solos that will keep the old school metal and thrash fans happy. Basically, Malone's guitar parts are top notch.

The other half of Arsis is also quite formidable. Enter Michael van Dyne, the incredibly muscular man behind the drum set. Michael constantly pushes the band further and further with his complicated and very fast drum parts. There is hardly any time where he isn't abusing his double bass drums or laying down some incredibly swift blast beats. He's got an incredible sense of time and also has great chops. His drumming is great for the style of music he plays and certainly gives metal drummers the good word that they deserve. Percussionists out there could look to this album for some great drum work.

Highlights (in no order):
The Face of My Innocence
Return
The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters
Wholly Night

Pros:
-- Gives the listener a break from other American metal
-- The technicality of the album is very high
-- Amazing guitar riffs and solos
-- Superb drum parts
-- Great lyrics and vocals
-- Good production quality

Cons:
-- Bass could have been brought out more
-- This album isn't very accessible

Final Rating: 5/5 - This album is an essential to anyone's metal collection and has given America a beacon of hope musically. You need this album if you don't already have it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
February 20th 2006



12687 Comments


[quote=Ben]SON OF A BITCH :MAD:[/quote]Hehe, I don't think :mad: works with the cap locks.
Sweet review Thor. Arsis seems like a cool band.

Thor
February 20th 2006



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you're looking into more metal then I would strongly advise that you check them out.

Storm In A Teacup
February 20th 2006



12687 Comments


I will be sure to do so, if I can find this.

Shadows
Moderator
February 20th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Damn it! It's Thor everytime!

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait before I do this. Nice work, you nailed it, rating and all. Malone's vocals are exactly what I envision melodic death vocals to be like and his guitar playing is godly. That guy can layer harmonies, shred solos, and pull out kickass riffs like they're nothing. I wouldn't compare these guys to Gothenburg though, because they way more technical, heavier, and original than any Gothenburg band.

Storm In A Teacup
February 20th 2006



12687 Comments


Ben, would it be easy to find this?

Shadows
Moderator
February 20th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No. I've never seen it in a store before. I ordered mine from Amazon.

Storm In A Teacup
February 20th 2006



12687 Comments


Darn, my parents don't let me order things online. I'll have to find another way to get something from this band.

Shattered_Future
February 20th 2006



1539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The band is good enough. It's just the goddamn vocals. They COMPLETELY kill everything that makes the band good, and makes it unlistenable.

For me, anyways. I know I'm gonna catch a lot of flak from a CERTAIN someone about it, but it's the damn vocals. Get a new vocalist, and this would be one of the best American metal bands today.

Shadows
Moderator
February 20th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

YOU FOOL! INCINERATE IN A HELL COMPLETELY DEVOID OF ALL FEMALES FOR THAT!

By the way, who did you think you were going to catch flak from? :p

I can look past my fanboyism on this band for some reason. They're my #3 favorite band! This Message Edited On 02.20.06

Neoteric
February 21st 2006



3243 Comments


Darn, my parents don't let me order things online. I'll have to find another way to get something from this band.

*cough* Soulseek *cough*

Arucard
February 21st 2006



575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe they could recruit the now unemplyed Tarja Shattered :lol:

And you definatly nailed it. Although i would give this 4.5, because i think that ADFD is a step up musicially in both song writing and general brutality, this album is brilliant. I'd buy it for The Face Of My Innocence alone.

Shattered_Future
February 21st 2006



1539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nooooo, don't take away my females!!!!! :mad:

Joe, that would be weird as hell. Hilarious as well...

It would go like...*opera solo* CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA

Toaster
February 21st 2006



343 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album would be slightly better if the guitars were in tune, but not much. A Diamond For Disease is a far better listen. I can't comprehend how the vocals can ruin the album, they're pretty much just standard raspy screaming.

Thor
February 21st 2006



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The guitars are in tune, what are you talking about?

Apathy
February 21st 2006



645 Comments


This isn't that good, actually...

Arucard
February 23rd 2006



575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still dont see where the guitars are out man.

canadapantsman
February 24th 2006



236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent album. I love the kick drums too, how real they are instead of all triggery

Thor
March 9th 2006



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The breakdown in "Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters" is too awesome for words.

Shadows
Moderator
March 9th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

My thoughts exactly!

Apocalyptic Raids
March 9th 2006



810 Comments


It's alright.

Arghoslent > Arsis though :-P



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