Rating:
7.0
Arsis - We Are The Nightmare
15 April 2008


Disc I
01. We Are The Nightmare
02. Shattering The Spell
03. Sightless Wisdom
04. Servants To The Night
05. Failing Winds Of Hopeless Greed
06. Overthrown
07. Progressive Entrapment
08. A Feast For The Liar's Tongue
09. My Oath To Madness
10. Failure's Conquest
+ We Are The Nightmare [video]

Disc II [bonus DVD]
01. Making Of...
02. Behind The Scenes Footage


Aside from all other current controversies, Arsis are also turning some heads among the death metal community. "We Are The Nightmare" shows the American's third release, and first with label heavyweight Nuclear Blast. The album is one of precise technical death metal clinically performed, with strong melodic and modern elements plastered all over it.

With death metal, the classic general idea was to have a strong, crushing balls to the wall onslaught of brutality, and for it to be enjoyed in an almost caveman-style fashion. These days however metal and death metal has moved on from that relatively simple formula but has still kept the backbone of the music in the same general vein as the more primitive bands of the past.

This was until bands like Arsis came along with a very technical and impersonal form of death metal and sucked all the soul out of it. "We Are The Nightmare" is a technically brilliant album with blastbeats and double bass almost constant, guitar licks and wild solos around every corner, everything is executed with clinical accuracy but under a very clean and modern production that extracts any death metal feel away from the album.

Arsis provide music easy to headbang to and easy to like if you are a fan of all the current modern extreme metal bands. Insane musical brilliance with chaos over the drum kit and catchy melodic death metal guitar melodies over all of it together are like a light bulb to moths for the vast majority of the metallers of today.

Indeed, "We Are The Nightmare" is a good album but it is becoming an increasing trend these days to shed the soul of the music, especially in this scene of death metal, in favour of popular and modern influences that scream "buy me" all over them. If this album entertains its audience, of which it will a good percentage, then it has done its job and racked up the sales, but will be cast aside in a few weeks for the next new great hit of death metal. Arsis does nothing memorable on "We Are The Nightmare", forty minutes of modern, melodic technical death metal but nothing more.


Band profile: Arsis
Album: We Are The Nightmare


 



Written on 19.04.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

Staff review by
Herzebeth

Rating:
5.0
Oh No, Please Not Again!!!

I still can't recover from what Nuclear Blast did with Nile to be honest...but now where the hell is our beloved Arsis? You have no idea what you have just done damn it.

I remember the day I received "A Celebration of Guilt" for reviewing purposes with a smile on my face, the name was unknown to me, but Jason Tipton kept saying "-Man, believe me, you'll love this band, just try them" he said the same thing when Circle Of Dead Children knocked on my door so I guess I trust his words and his signed bands a lot...the band was just freaking relentless, they were pure dynamite and they were about to blow the whole shitty world with their slide of explosive and clever Death Metal...

Read more ››
published 25.05.2008 | Comments (8)



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Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2008 at 19:25  
Spot on review.
mankvill - 19.04.2008 at 19:44  
I like the new album. It literally combines the first three releases by the band and this is the result. It's not their best, but it's not their worst.
logan - 19.04.2008 at 21:38  
I don't totally disagree... but I think the CD is WAY better then the reviewer thinks... just because something sounds tight and clean does not mean that it is a main stream "buy me" pop CD...

It is catchier and sometimes it even sounds happy... but there is soul in the lyrics and music.

For me the album is a 9 or 10... i find it one of the best technical death CD's to come out in a while... and easily better than any other arsis CD except the first one.
BlueMobius - 19.04.2008 at 22:48  
I think this album is better than you make it seem Baz. First, this is an album that has to grow on you to appreciate it, listen for a few weeks. Second, I think this album has some very memorable parts. For example, in the song Servants to the Night there is this one riff from the song that I find popping in my head all the time. In Shattering the Spell the melodic slide lead is very unique and memorable. Third, clean production and good skills doesn't mean the music is void of soul. If that were true then Death's Symbollic and TSOP would be completely lacking the soul aspect, but nobody ever goes around saying Chuck lacked any soul because he was skilled but quite the opposite. The same is true for this album, the skill and quality is what gives the music soul. The band put a lot into making the album. It would be one thing if Obituary wrote a crisp clean old school death metal album, but this isn't old school death metal, this isn't supposed to be raw like that. Arsis is technical and melodic death metal. Nobody wants to hear bad production on a technical song, the point is for each instrument to stand out. This album is great to me, I will be listening over and over, plus the bonus DVD is hilarious.
Dangerboner - 20.04.2008 at 01:13  
Nice review Baz, I pretty much agree with everything.
Talvi - 20.04.2008 at 07:19  
Their first and second albums were great but this one is just not that great. And has that horrible drum sound.
BitterCOld - 20.04.2008 at 08:42  
haven't heard it studio version yet, but based on a couple tracks they played live from this (and prior albums), a 7 sounds about right. a good band. 9 in the skill department, but ultimately lacking in the substance.
Visioneerie - 20.04.2008 at 21:04  
Written by BlueMobius on 19.04.2008 at 22:48

I think this album is better than you make it seem Baz. First, this is an album that has to grow on you to appreciate it, listen for a few weeks. Second, I think this album has some very memorable parts. For example, in the song Servants to the Night there is this one riff from the song that I find popping in my head all the time. In Shattering the Spell the melodic slide lead is very unique and memorable. Third, clean production and good skills doesn't mean the music is void of soul. If that were true then Death's Symbollic and TSOP would be completely lacking the soul aspect, but nobody ever goes around saying Chuck lacked any soul because he was skilled but quite the opposite. The same is true for this album, the skill and quality is what gives the music soul. The band put a lot into making the album. It would be one thing if Obituary wrote a crisp clean old school death metal album, but this isn't old school death metal, this isn't supposed to be raw like that. Arsis is technical and melodic death metal. Nobody wants to hear bad production on a technical song, the point is for each instrument to stand out. This album is great to me, I will be listening over and over, plus the bonus DVD is hilarious.

Totally agree with you man, there is a place for traditional old school death metal and a different place for the technical death metal acts. Every band has their right to have their own sound and i think that Arsis chose a clear crisp production because it appeals to their music. You can't expect every dm act to live up to the tradition of dirty production and sheer brutality, there is a time where music evolves whether some people like it or not. Now i love acts like Morbid Angel, CC, Suffocation but i also appreciate newer bands such as Necrophagist, Spawn of Possession, etc.

Death metal is evolving and that's a good thing, i don't want to be stuck with the same old forever, it's refreshing to see bands put new elements to the table and that's why i disagree with this review.
flamey - 21.04.2008 at 18:53  
Written by BlueMobius on 19.04.2008 at 22:48

I think this album is better than you make it seem Baz. First, this is an album that has to grow on you to appreciate it, listen for a few weeks. Second, I think this album has some very memorable parts. For example, in the song Servants to the Night there is this one riff from the song that I find popping in my head all the time. In Shattering the Spell the melodic slide lead is very unique and memorable. Third, clean production and good skills doesn't mean the music is void of soul. If that were true then Death's Symbollic and TSOP would be completely lacking the soul aspect, but nobody ever goes around saying Chuck lacked any soul because he was skilled but quite the opposite. The same is true for this album, the skill and quality is what gives the music soul. The band put a lot into making the album. It would be one thing if Obituary wrote a crisp clean old school death metal album, but this isn't old school death metal, this isn't supposed to be raw like that. Arsis is technical and melodic death metal. Nobody wants to hear bad production on a technical song, the point is for each instrument to stand out. This album is great to me, I will be listening over and over, plus the bonus DVD is hilarious.


Couldnt agree more.. how can this album sound like "buy me" all over it anyway? How can one think that this band will sell a lot with this album? It's TECHNICAL death metal for god's sake, just how many percentage of metalheads can even stand such music? If they wanted sales they would water down everything and put some memorable easy stuff instead.. and I dont see why it's a bad thing that the production is good. I seriously LOL'd. In a technical death metal album production is like one of the most important things, why even listen to it if you're gonna hear incomprehensible mix of instruments without understanding shit?
Pretty bad review imho.
Baz Anderson - 21.04.2008 at 19:05  
you few people here that do not share the same opinion seem to be missing my point.

a good production is always a good thing, but the production must fit the music - here it doesn't. this isn't a sort of production a death metal album should have; the drums sound wafer thin and the whole thing just feels a bit plastic.
Black_Handed - 21.04.2008 at 19:50  
well Baz, this review is more like an essay about "how modern technical death metal is devoid of sou using one example", i admit that it can be true with many bands, plus i havent heard this album yet. but just to cheer you up, and show you that youre not entirely correct, i suggest trying Anata. even though you still might find their last album bit lacking in terms of atmosphere as quite a few others think - i dont. so for you under a stone with no inscription album could be the best for you.
Nazgal - 21.04.2008 at 20:20  
I might be the only one, but I think this release is a lot better than their first two. I simply cannot enjoy their first records. I'm an Arsis fan since they released "We Are The Nightmare". The production is awesome, and IMO it totally fits with the music.
Diminished2b - 22.04.2008 at 02:03  
That review told me nothing at all.
Iv heard the album and would have givn it a strong 9.
You made entire paragraghs out ov complete bullshit "With death metal, the classic general idea was to have a strong, crushing balls to the wall onslaught of brutality, and for it to be enjoyed in an almost caveman-style fashion."Wtf? No one needs a fucking run down on what death metal is at all,same go's for P.3,the rest of 2 and pretty much all but one sentence ov the last one.
If you want to write a review go and read some ov the inventive ones over at metal archives,pay attention to how they word their discriptions so you can find out how to actually express your thoughts on the album in a constructive way instead ov just saying "Yeah its got blastbeats and double bass,and fast guitars!".
Perhaps your review ov the upcoming Necrophagist album will be a bit more up to par....

Id give your review a 4.5
BitterCOld - 22.04.2008 at 03:18  
did you just suggest someone go to Metal Archives for examples on how to write a review?

seriously?

Baz's review was fine. Well done, technically proficient modern technical death metal with all the sonic fixin's, but without the soul. Dragonforce for the DM crowd - the sonic equivalent of a Twinkie (to borrow from Satan Stole My Teddybear, a site with excellent reviews, unlike MA)

Hooray. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

If you like to critique so much, I'm eager to read some reviews of yours.
DreamWeaver - 22.04.2008 at 05:17  
Written by BitterCOld on 22.04.2008 at 03:18

If you like to critique so much, I'm eager to read some reviews of yours.


Reviews OV yours. Please, you gotta keep it kvlt. Like the guy above.
Clint W. - 22.04.2008 at 05:25  
Well, the review did little to actually evaluate the album. I realize that the short reviews on Metalstorm can't explain an album in depth, but all I got was this was that you didn't feel any emotion coming from the album. That's a highly subjective element of the music and while this review is indeed your opinion, and your specific feeling about the music belongs, I didn't really draw any conclusions from the review other than it is "soul" less. You sound more like you're unhappy with the direction of Death Metal today as concerned with the past, than with the actual album. But I can't blame you.

Regardless, from the songs I have heard, the songs are of course technically proficient, but nothing completely amazing.
Diminished2b - 22.04.2008 at 22:22  
--------------
His Eminence - 06.02.2010 at 22:04  
I'd have given the album somewhere around a 7.5, so I pretty much agree with the review here. It's a good album in my opinion, but I agree with Baz that the production sounds plastic. It's almost too good for this type of music. A Celebration of Guilt was much better.
Valaskjalf - 09.02.2010 at 02:33  
Yeah 7 is a good rating I think...its a good album but everything is a little too crisp. Somehow the less clean production on the first album gave it a bit more of an atmosphere, with this album all the instruments sound somewhat separate and dont gel as well. Still musically a good album
MeTalRea|istiK - 02.10.2010 at 20:06  
Great album!!i dont like old school extreme metal..to hard to understand n boring!!
JÄY - 06.11.2011 at 00:10  
...but it's wafer thin....

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