Arsis - Visitant LP (Black vinyl)
Arsis is a band that made a name for themselves with their 2004 debut album, A Celebration of Guilt, known for it's idiosyncratic take on melodic death metal. Since that album, I haven't paid much attention to the band – but I chanced upon this album and I'm fortunate to have done so.
Visitant is a black-tinged melodic death metal album whose theme is generic, but it's execution is as idiosyncratic as their debut. The palette of black, melodic and thrash metal is swirled nicely together, with hints of each color detectable in just about every song. The vocals are similarly a blend of something between black metal and screaming old school German thrash (I've honestly never heard a non-German vocalist sound so much like Tom Angelripper). The riffs remain very consistent in their melodic aspect throughout. There is a sharp understanding here of how to let riffs breath, when to deviate from a rhythm, where to place a few accents or an embellishment. The album is not showy or overt in it's technicality, but is highly skillful in placing the instruments in relation to one another, like in Fathoms and Death Vow where both guitars, the drums and vocals all seem to be operating autonomously but are really creating an elaborate big picture.