Arsis - We Are The Nightmare
Nuclear Blast
Technical Death Metal
10 songs (40'47)
Release year: 2008
Arsis, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Ben

Arsis’ third full length We Are The Nightmare has two new precedents for the band. This album is the first to be recorded by a complete lineup. No longer a tag team duo, Arsis are a fully functioning unit with two more minds to brew up some music. Second, they are now on Nuclear Blast Records and seem to be poised to break out of the underground cult status they garnered from the moment the first person heard A Celebration Of Guilt. Many people found second long player United In Regret to be the lesser of Arsis’ outputs. Even James Malone admits that it was a rushed job that could have been done better. This time around with We Are The Nightmare it is obvious that this was a meticulously crafted selection of songs and much time was spent on arranging.

We Are The Nightmare is the continued evolution of the band in all the right areas. The musical abilities of the band are nothing short of jaw dropping. But instead of falling into the trap of mindless self indulgence, Arsis has made sure to include simpler moments that are meant to headbang to. There are even Power Metal like melodies that give a new slant to the bands rigid sound. Sightless Wisdom has a climbing chorus that harkens back to the days of classic thrash metal. Servants To The Night contains a great fist pumping chorus as well, however this one is as sticky sweet as Skid Row circa 1989. That is, if Skid Row could blast beat or sweep arpeggios.

Even though Arsis have hooks now that doesn’t mean they’ve dumbed down the music one iota. I’m sure that on tour the various band members are going to have to field numerous questions on how to play this section here or that passage over there. Overthrown, one of three songs solely written by new guitarist Ryan Knight, (the others being Sightless Wisdom and My Oathe To Madness) has overt classical tones to it. The guitar solos sound like something Michael Romeo of Symphony X would come up with if he played for a death metal band. My biggest complaint would lie in the drum department. Not the abilities of drummer Darren Cesca, but the trigger effect used on the double bass drums. Since the drumming is relentless this gives the bass drum a mechanical feel that sounds artificial. I know it isn’t fake at all, I’ve seen the guy play live up close and personal, but that same dry sound on every hit takes away some of the vitality of the song. Despite this, drum aficionados will be delighted to just sit down and analyze his playing, he even uses four different snare drums to achieve the sound he’s going for.

We Are The Nightmare is the type of album that fans of the genre will eat up, but still isn’t so over the top that newbies couldn’t be converted. Having a full lineup with everybody contributing to the strength of the music has helped out tremendously. Where United In Regret sounded like a result of strenuous mental struggle akin to slamming out thirty hard ass advanced algebra problems on two days of no sleep, We Are The Nightmare is fresh and vibrant.

Killing Songs :
Servants To The Night, Overthrown, Sightless Wisdom, A Feast For The Liar's Tounge
Ben quoted 88 / 100
Dylan quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Arsis that we have reviewed:
Arsis - Lepers Caress reviewed by Koeppe and quoted no quote
Arsis - Starve For The Devil reviewed by Kyle and quoted 80 / 100
Arsis - United In Regret reviewed by Dylan and quoted 72 / 100
Arsis - A Celebration of Guilt reviewed by Alex and quoted 89 / 100
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