New Album Review: We Are The Nightmare

27 04 2008

I haven’t claimed to be unbiased in my reviews, so I think I should start out this review by saying that Arsis is a little bit of a guilty pleasure. When I listen to them, I can’t help but feel like there is something clandestinely gay about them… like if they had choppy emo haircuts and wrote songs about serial killers then they would be full-fledged deathcore wannabes, and all the teenage girls with raccoon hair would be all over their nuts. Maybe it’s Malone’s voice, maybe it’s the occasionally cheesy melodicism, maybe it’s their always cheesy lyrics.

Anyways, despite all of this I still enjoyed their first three releases (even though United in Regret was mediocre at times), and I had good expectations for this album. And most of them weren’t met. Sure, the title track is catchy enough, what with the band throwing in a melodic little refrain every chance they can. The songs continue on in fairly typical Arsis fashion, always trying a little too hard to be technical, yet still retaining a quality about them that makes them seem fit for it. However, I have to say that the attempt at progressiveness by drummer Darren Cesca muddies up the continuity and flow of the songs. They try to throw in too many un-needed details, and it ends up sounding like a bit of a mess. And I also have to say that there is a strange anemic quality to the guitars as well. In certain parts (especially the intro to “Shattering the Spell”), they just don’t carry the weight they should, and end up being a little whiny. Speaking of which, James Malone…

3/5

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