Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Arsis--Starve for the Devil

This weekend was quite eventful for me; usually weekends are used to aimlessly jam on guitar, practice songs that my bands inexplicably cannot ever remember correctly, and have nighttime cocktails that inevitably end in my falling asleep on the couch during a movie that my wife really wanted to see but that I've never heard of.  But she always chooses some semi-artsy quasi-horror movie with lots of talking and surprisingly few exploding humans, or else she wants to watch something girly with David Duchovney in it.  Neither of those options are really anything that I'm very interested in; I'm more into abstract zaniness and awesome bad guy comeuppances.  You know, where you hate that one jerk so bad and then the hero says something witty right before shooting him with a stolen U.S. Government Boson Particle Accelerator Gun or something.  And then you get to see the bad guy's skeleton! 

Ice to see you!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a film buff.

But this weekend was different.  I went to practice and played some stuff and drank some sweet bourbon, brownest of the brown liquors.  There was bro time, and I even got a new doom song written with one of my massive homebros.  It was, now that I think about it, an extremely standard weekend for me, except I went and looked at an amp, and on Sunday I ate chicken wings.

Spicy ones.  REAL spicy.

I love getting Buffalo wings.  They're all tiny so they act like delicious chicken supplements, which means that, though they're deliciously fried and slathered in delicious sauce, they have almost no calories and you can eat literally as many as you want.  And the dressing that you dip the wings in is specially made to be healthy as well as full of mayonnaise, which means that you don't have to skimp on dressing just to keep your waistline in check. 

It's science!

I'm actually on the Buffalo Wing Diet (developed by people who may be--or know--doctors!), but it's really not working for me.  Getting wings every day is kind of expensive, so I've been cheating on my diet and eating fruit and granola bars and stuff on the side.  So the diet isn't working as well as it would be if I were eating nothing but Buffalo wings.

Curse you, fruit!  CURSE YOU FOR MAKING ME FAT!

It's been a rough road, but I have confidence that if I stay away from fruit and vegetables and I drink only enough beer to get really, really drunk most nights, I can drop the pounds that I need to get down to UFC fighter weight.  The only downside to my current diet?  My morning constitutional now has an all-new "Ouch, my ass," aspect to it, which is horrible.  Now most mornings I'm sitting on the toilet crying because my tender ass is being burned from the inside out.  It used to be that I would cry on the toilet just because of the general malaise and sadness that comes with being a snooty American (or, as I like to think of it, "The good kind of crying"), and if there was something that looked like blood on the toilet paper, there wasn't a very good possibility that it was just undigested Buffalo sauce sent to further inflame my rash-covered ass.

Why do I do it?  For my health!  I gorge on chicken wings because I think I remember a guy telling me that I should.

Arsis, on the other hand, choose to Starve for the Devil. 

See what I did there?  I should work for Metalsucks.

Arsis bring their signature brand of ridiculously technical death metal back to the front and center with their newest release, which I'm just now getting around to listening to because I arbitrarily chose to exercise some self restraint and not steal this album.  It was a perfectly meaningless exercise in not-breaking-the-law, because I always wanted to listen to it because I knew that I would like it, but I never remembered to go out and buy it.  So now I'm getting around to it, and it turns out that I was right, and I do like it.  A lot.

Listening to any Arsis album is like listening to the reality that I lived in coming up as a guitarist in the metal scene.  I used to listen to We Are the Nightmare while I whittled my time in college away and think to myself "I'm going to do something like this someday."  Then I got married and the rigors of having to make sure my wife and I didn't get kicked out of our apartment wore my spirit down to the dirty, calloused nub that it is today, and I forgot to learn how to play this kind of death metal.  It's probably my favorite kind, too, with punchy, modern recording, clean parts, no clean singing, exhilarating thrash attacks, sweet solos and good song structure.  Critics applauded this album as being a step away from the wanky We Are the Nightmare, but I miss the wank a little bit. 

Actually, a lot.  I love things that are wanky.

That isn't to say that they dialed down the technicality for Starve for the Devil, but it does mean that the riffs sound less like repeating, self-contained guitar solos and sweep picking studies crammed behind some nebulous death growls.  People appreciate that, and I like it, too.  But I wish they were still trying to blow my twenty-year-old mind with relentless shred.  I just do.  But this is really good, too.

So if you're a normal metal d00d and you for some reason don't spend all of your time listening to Djent with the rest of the crowd (good for you if that describes you, by the way), you should check out Arsis.  And if you see them around, you should let James Malone know about the Buffalo Wing Diet.  He doesn't have to starve anymore!

But you should also let him know that he needs to keep lots of milk around to pour down his buttcrack when the burning gets too intense.  It's the only thing that helps even a little bit.

Check out Arsis on Facebook, or be cool and get a Spotify account.

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