Ara
Devourer of Worlds

It’s always a bit odd writing a review for something that involves someone who writes for this site, or I have a friendship with. Critiquing their music and life work seems more difficult when you somewhat ‘know’ the person. In the case of Wisconsin’s Ara, a technical death metal band featuring our own Jerry Hauppa, a gentleman who I have also covered a few times with one of his many other musical outlets Concentric and Northless.

And Ara could not be any different from those other bands, but luckily there is no need to worry about critiquing Hauppa (who plays guitars here) and co. (he’s joined by other Concetric and Northless folks) as Devourer of Worlds is a simply masterful display of modern technical death metal in all its atonal, shifting, and mind warping glory.

There are some musical and personal similarities between Huappa’s Ara and Zealotry, the band from Roman Temin, a gentleman I also consider a friend and quality musician. Both bands are heavily rooted in the Ulcerate and Gorguts (circa Colored Sands) style of technical death metal. That’s to say the style that’s less techy twiddle and polished, but more murky, menacing, chaotic and discordantly destructive. If you enjoyed last years Artificial Brain release (whose Colin Marston produced here) , you need to head over to the band’s band camp site right now. A limited number of Cds are floating around also.

The 43 minutes and 10 songs contained on Devourer of Worlds is a deft mix of controlled, stuttering discordance (i.e opener “Incunabulum” the closing title track with some sneaky melodies, “Human garbage”  or “Dregdehammer” (which could be a lost Colored Sands track) and utterly  world destroying brutality ( i.e ” Jerupitus, the Blood-drenched” or the simply merciless and aptly named “Cadaverlanche” or “Execution” – which imbue Cryptopsy’s Whisper Supremacy in its succinct, sheer devastation). Either way, Ara is absolutely on top of their game for this release, which is more than I can say for the 2012 EP, The Blessed Sleep, which sort of careened by with no real impact. Devourer of Worlds absolutely commands your attention, tumbling and staggering like a giant meteor through space, destroying everything it collides with.

Credit should also be given to relatively unknown local vocalist Adam Bujny, whose deep, powerful, bellows are both commanding and varied. Bassist James Becker (Concentric) also delivers with his technical chops that back Concentric’s instrumental tech metal with a flair that gives the chaos a touch of visceral elegance. And of course Hauppa’s tech metal influence (Spiral Architect, etc)  is at the forefront with a glittering kaleidoscope of shattering glass, stop start riffs that slice and maim with equal sharpness and brute force bludgeoning.

This was released at the very tail end of 2014, and if I had come across it sooner this would have found a place somewhere on my 2014 year end list. Let’s hope that some label like Dark Descent, Deepsend, Blast Head or Season of Mist are reading this and can expose Ara to a wider audience and get it more of the attention it missed in 2014.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 16th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jerry

    Anyone interested can stream the whole record at arawi.bandcamp.com
    Thanks!


  2. Commented by: Alexander Kon-I Ho

    I’m totally digging this. Great work! What the heck is going on with the snare @2:33 on Cadaverlanche?


  3. Commented by: Jerry

    Thanks a lot! I’m not sure what you mean about the snare in that spot, are you asking about the pattern or the sound?


  4. Commented by: Alexander Kon-I Ho

    I was asking about the snare sound. It sounds like an electric snare for a few bars.


  5. Commented by: Jerry

    Weird. Well I think that particular section has a non blasty part so it was probably an easier section for Erik to pound the hell out of the snare. There wasn’t anything sound replaced so I’m not sure what it could be.


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