Like usual, I'm trying to get this review up quickly before going to another concert... A few days ago, Arsis put on a one-off headline show as the release party for their new CD at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD. I got into them when I saw them opening for Sonata Arctica. They were fast and melodic, and very headbangable; I enjoyed their set and looked forward to seeing them again, especially to the chance to see them headline. This week was really busy, though, so probably wouldn't have gone to seem them if the show hadn't been in Frederick. But seeing as they were right there, there was no excuse not to see them/support them at their headline show.
The best word for this show would be thunderous. Both the one opener we saw and Arsis were a massive barrage of thundering sound, which I think had more do with the venue's sound system and mixing than the bands, cause I don't remember Arsis sounding like that last time we saw them. In spite of being tired and down in the dumps about my life, I had a good time and thought it was a great show, which is a testament to the energy this band puts out.
We missed Monarchs and Enigma Code entirely, cause it took forever to get my daughter to bed (damnable naps at daycare). We heard the last three songs or so of Inhumation, which sounded pretty good to me. Their sound was dominated by rumbling, rolling bass and drums. The vocals were totally indecipherable, just a rhythmic low growl. The singer was out of breath between songs, which I thought was odd. He called for a pit on the last couple songs, but no one obliged him.
Arsis's sound was also thundering, which was when I realized it must be the sound system - they do a lot of death metal shows at Cafe 611, so I guess that's the kind of sound they prefer. The lead guitar was pretty low in the mix, sort of in the background, unfortunately, but I could pick out the melodies if I listened hard enough. I was feeling pretty crappy before their set started, but the energy of
their songs wiped that right out of me and got me moving. They were dynamic, energetic, and seemed to be having a great time (this was their party after all), and they were pretty good natured about the fact that only about thirty people showed up to their party (it was a Tuesday night in Frederick). There was no pit, even though the music was fast and heavy enough in some parts. I shoved S a little, but didn't feel like starting pit. At end, S picked up the band's set list and eventually got it signed. And our friend Sc who has awesome hair got a shoutout during the show for having already purchased the new CD XD
I thought they sounded good, even if the sound system skewed their sound toward the heavier elements and obscured some of the melodic parts. It might have been a better show with more people so there could have been an actual pit, but at the same time, sometimes it's nice to see a band with just fifteen or twenty "friends". Now Arsis is on tour with Krisiun, so if they're hitting your area, I suggest checking them out - especially because the first half of the dates feature the amazing Chicago based melodeath band Starkill! (So bummed that they're not coming to my area >.<)
Next concert: M3 Fest - today!