Arsis "We are the Nightmare" CDPosted on Monday, April 21st, 2008 @ 7:46am » permalink
"We are the Nightmare" is the Nuclear Blast debut from the alfuckingmighty Arsis, a band that I've absolutely adored for a little over four years now, ever since I first saw them live prior to the release of "A Celebration of Guilt". No matter what, Arsis can do no wrong, and is without question one of the finest metal bands active today. From a songwriting standpoint this material is probably a hint stronger than that of "United in Regret", recapturing more of the energy, catchiness, and just utterly fucking badass, mindblowingly technical flashiness of the riffing from their debut full-length. It definitely took me a few minutes to get used to the recording, though, I must say. I listen to 95% of my music in headphones, which certainly helps in this case (both for capturing the full effects of the layering and complexity, and in terms of the mix), but it seems like every time I throw this album on, it sounds really thin for a minute or two, and then thickens up if I increase the volume a bit and give it a few minutes to settle in. I'm not sure why the hell that is, though!? There's definitely some "…And Justice for All" happening to a degree in terms of the basslines (they're too damn hard to hear), and I think the drums could probably fall back a smidge, but… I dunno, maybe those two tweaks would've done the trick 100%? Or maybe it's just me? I don't know… fuck it. 'Cause the songs and the playing are fuckin' superb, as expected. Always. You'll be hard pressed to find better solos anywhere else in contemporary metal, not to mention the fact that half the time the rhythms are as fucked up and complicated as solos in Arsis' work anyway! I just love this god damn band, man. And trust me, the three songs they've placed on MySpace thus far are certainly not the best that this album has to offer. There's ripping greatness aplenty. But I don't want to give away anything that they don't already have out there for promotion, so… just think of this as a teaser for what the full album has to offer, as it definitely gets better from here!
The physical CD's packaging is the band's best yet (the metallic bronze foil outline on the front cover's logo is slick as shit), and comes with a bonus "making of" DVD – which is really more comedic footage of the band fiddling around in the studio and "behind the scenes" during the recording than anything (and at less than an hour in length did leave me wanting more). Though it does prove in a few brief moments that the band's new guitarist, Ryan Knight, is just as much of a badass shredding lunatic as band leader Jim "The Fucking Man" Malone. Impressive.
And don't download this shit for free, fuckers. Please support these guys if you're a fan, 'cause they really, truly fucking deserve it, okay?