Arsis
Visitant

When you deliver an debut album that arguably reinvigorated melodic death metal in 2004s A Celebration Guilt, expectations tend to pile on and pile up, and despite a Children of Bodom like trajectory, founder and brainchild James Malone has largely responded well with subsequent albums, maybe with the exception of 2010s more rock based Starve for the Devil .  And now 5 years after a comeback of sorts in 2014s Unwelcome, Malone and that same line up has returned with the band’s best album since the much lauded debut.

While Unwelcome successfully mixed a little of the Starve For the Devil‘s more commercial, rock feel with the band’s high octane, Carcass on meth melodeath, Vistatant is a return to the pure, adrenaline fueled technical, melodic fury of the bands first trio of albums and it mostly fucking rips, delivering almost 50, seemingly cathartic  minutes of shredding, catchy brilliance that never gets too shreddy ot techy, (i.e . Archspire, Inferi) keeping its melodic death metal roots, while still baring its teeth.

Charging out of the gate with a the energy of a 4 year layoff, the first three tracks “Tricking the Gods”, standout “Hellsworn”, and rollicking “Easy Prey”  the album immediately grabs your attention from the get go. The album’s mid section suffers as a result of the high energy opening as solid tracks like “Fathoms”, “As Deep as Your Flesh” and weakest cut, “A Pulse Keeping Time With the Dark”  all a bit more controlled get a bit overlooked by the sheer velocity of the album’s steamrolling opening. But the the album picks back up with “Funereal Might” and standouts in the savagely melodic “Dead Is Better” and penultimate killer track “Under the Knife”, which is one of the better tracks of the band’s entire discography.

Admittedly the 48 minute, 11 songs (including an album ending cover of Pseudo Echo‘s “His Eyes”, whoever that is), does start to drag on a smidge, especially with the intensity levels so high throughout, but in musical terms, and ‘arsis’ is a upward beat or stroke in a a composition, and Visitant is most triumphant an upswing for this band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 26th, 2018

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