Arsis – Lepers Caress
Scion A/V, 2012
It seems forever since Starve For The Devil came out in 2010, and the usual delays and personnel changes have ensued during the intervening time. The timing of this release is a bit odd, only four months or so before the new album, Unwelcome, is released on April 30. Who’s to complain, though, as this EP delivers six songs, only one of which will appear on Unwelcome (“Carve My Cross”). Whereas Starve For The Devil suggested a move towards straight-forward thrash, Lepers Caress signals that Arsis is instead sticking with their trademark, technical thrash-inspired death metal sound. “Haunted, Fragile, and Frozen” is an instrumental that leads off the EP, building up from an acoustic start into a slow, epic riff that blasts into the fast “Six Coffins Wide”. It doesn’t let up from there, with a brutal machine gun snare and wicked double-bass drumming underlying fast, technical guitar riffs and solos. If these are the leftovers from the writing sessions for Unwelcome, then the new album should be a monster. The constant turnover in the band would usually be a cause for concern, but Lepers Caress is a fine reminder that Arsis is still at the top of their game. Best of all, you can download this EP for free from the Scion A/V website.