Monday, February 22, 2010

Initial Impressions: Arsis: Starve for the Devil

Arsis has been making waves over the last decade. The Virginia band plays a style of death metal featuring technical riffs and quite a bit of melodic touches as well. They have quickly become one of the better U.S. melodic death metal bands, without descending into the mainstream Gothenburg style.

This album finds the band honing their style and focusing on the melodic aspects of the music without sacrificing any of their technical abilities. The riffs remain as razor-sharp as ever and the guitar solos never cease to impress. The drumming is technical and powerful. The vocals are delivered in a deep growl, although they come close to venturing into black metal style territory at a few points.

One of the most underrated aspects of Arsis is vocalist James Malone's gift for dark poetic lyrics. Malone is a very good lyricist with a strong style and use of language.

Arsis has been going for about ten years now. They are not as brutal and technical as they were in the early days, but they have nevertheless been improving on each album. This album is further proof of their growth as a powerful American death metal band.

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