Arsis - We Are The Nightmare (Nuclear Blast Records) - Back
Many bands today write stripped down songs by avoiding technical riffing with rather simple riffs and replacing solos with heavy breakdowns. It would seem that Arsis is doing just the opposite. Technicality isn’t a once and a while used element, with Arsis it’s a norm.

“We Are The Nightmare” is the 3rd full-length album by these mind-blowing musicians from Virginia and it does not disappoint. If you know what Arsis is all about then this album is exactly what you are looking for...technical, brutal, yet melodic death metal unspoiled by trends or passing fads.

Some of these songs have parts that have an overwhelming Chuck Schuldiner vibe to them. One could say that the heart and sole of the legendary Death artist is alive and well within Arsis. I sit in awe when I hear some of these parts, thinking, “I wonder what Chuck would have thought of these guys?”

Many of the riffs Arsis use for the main elements of the songs would be used as leads and solos for lesser bands. These riffs will peel your flesh off like a filleting knife, including shredding solos with multiple uses from leads, to transitions, to outright just burning your ears off. The drumming skill and precision adds to the already impressive composition. There is not a lack of skill on the skins; hell he attended the Berklee College of Music. Vocals are the only thing that is somewhat ordinary, but still more than adequate for this death metal band and just as good as anyone else.

Zeuss (Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Municipal Waste…) produced “We Are The Nightmare” at his legendary Planet Z studios and Alan Douches mastered this album (Kataklysm, Unearth Or Shadows Fall). As you can see it’s a well-rounded album on the board too.

Songs like “Failing Winds Of Hopeless Greed,” “Sightless Wisdom,” the album’s namesake “We Are The Nightmare,” and “My Oath To Madness” are great examples of this fantastic death metal art. I can praise “We Are The Nightmare” and talk about how great this album is all day long. You can also sum up it up in one word, “Phenomenal!”


Reviewed By: Jeffrey D. Adkins