It’s been 6 years since Milwaukee’s Ara released Destroyer of Worlds, and although guitarist Jerry Hauppa (who once wrote for this very site) remained busy with the likes of Steel Iron, Northless and Prezir,(sadly his instrumental project, Concentric is no more) it’s a new Ara record I’ve been waiting for from Mr Hauppa and co.

Ara is the Hauppa (as well drummer  Eric Stenglein, vocalist Andy Bujny, and bassist James Becker) is project I’m most enamored with as it’s a technical but brutal style of discordant death metal and the project’s second effort Jurisprudence (the theory or philosophy of law) is a perfectly rendered example of the style done right.

Not too murky or muddy, and not too noodly or widdly, as with Devourer of Worlds, but a perfect balance of both, Jurisprudence delivers 7 (plus one interlude) deft sharp stabs of modern technical death metal. As with the last record, I come back to modern  Gorgots, Zealotry and largely Cryptopsy (particularly Whisper Supremacy), as well as another band that has since come onto the scene, Serocs.

The twisty, tumbling, churning and atonal assault is hard to really break down song by song, as this isn’t memorable, catchy death metal, but a 41 minute discordant but controlled and intelligent pummeling. The style is most succinctly captured on the 7 minute opener “Ashen” as well as blisteringly dissonant “Cytokine Storm”, complex stomp of the title track and wonderfully and aptly named  closer “Pounded into the Multiverse”.

Other than the slightly more restrained lurches and bridge that litters the 8 minute “Etymologicide”and instrumental “Excursus Praestinguo”, there is little respite from the seismic stuttering, Andy Bujny has changed his voice up a little, getting rid of his Jan C (Gorefest) bellows that were mixed in with a more standard death metal growl a little being more in line with the genre. William Smith tales over from Colin Marston in the mastering department, although the studio and producer remain the same (Shane Hochstetler), and the album has a little more death metal heft and bottom end than Marston’s slightly blacker, Krallice-ian shriller hue.

Another solid release from Hauppa and co. now let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another 6 years for a follow up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 29th, 2020


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