Review Summary: Arsis is as Arsis does… again.
The often penetrating and calamity driven fuel that has driven the Arsis framework hasn’t exactly changed over the course of the last fourteen years. Breaking out with A Celebration Of Guilt
set a certain standard for the Virginia-based death heads and fairly, the hype that followed only matched the raw sadistic energy of a blistering debut. But the hype was met with a less than desirable display of misplaced technicality and failed expectations. From there Arsis continued down a merry little path of solid, yet understandably throw-away mediocrity, releasing the sort of music that sits on the slightly better side of positivity. If there’s anything that Visitant
reaffirms that Arsis is as Arsis does… again.
The typically rancorous outpouring of Arsis has had a tumultuous, if surprisingly effect on the band’s music. A whirlwind of line up changes have stopped the band from becoming consistently stale, without creating a huge variance in quality. It’s commendable even, that the Virginia-based band has something to offer, even if the expectation itself is about as dreary as Visitant
’s cover art. Visitant
starts off with the usual amounts of melodically charged atmospherics. The polished build of “Tricking The Gods” sets an ominous and plodding mood. Malone means business as his rasp joins the fray. Only, it’s all too clear that its business as usual. The air of melodious technicality drives the tight production into a claustrophobic, and restrictive setting. The life is removed quickly from Arsis’ newest slab of technically proficient, yet completely passable melodic death. Visitant
’s “listen once, forget me” soundscape is crippled by a seamless transition between both the songs sections and the tracks themselves. A clear cut production allows each Arsis component to shine and meld into forgetfulness, it’s nice achievement to provide a clear bass within a wall of death metal but it’s cost Visitant
a honest, organic overall sound.
As Arsis’ newest continues it’s foray into the world of melodic death metal-by-numbers, there are a few redeemers that keep the fans well at bay. The bombastic “Fathoms” adds some variety to a record that desperately needs it. While “Dead Is Better” brings back some of the older groove that put the group’s debut in the limelight. Aside from these few stand out pieces, Arsis’ latest stays squarely in the realms of unrepeatable spins. That’s not to say Visitant
is a bad listen. No, it’s just the same stock affair taken from one wrapping and slapped into the next. So blast some Arsis and have some fun because there’s a chance you won’t be going out of your way to revisit this one.