The question that varies from listener to listener is the preferred length of an album. If people are looking for a quick. aggressive listen, they may look more toward Hardcore or Grindcore bands whose albums can be listened to in one easy sitting. People who are interested in average album lengths have much more variety to choose from in Metal, from typical Hair Metal bands to even Deathcore bands clocking 30-40 minute albums. The length of the album ultimately can make or break a band, especially if there is not much variety.
With a jaw-dropped 58 minute album, Aronious have absolutely slapped every game of Monopoly off the table and body-checked opposing players. This album is thicc, with two C’s. Don’t let the length of the album deter you from listening to it in one sitting; each song is beautifully crafted to smoothly flow from one to another, offering various intricacies with melodic grooves and punishing riffs. Instrumental duo-songs “Modernity,” which comes in two parts, shows the duality of the instrumentalists. These instrumental track give off Discovery-era Born of Osiris vibes, arpeggiating a multitude of scales and reminding me I need to brush up on my sweep picking.
With Technical Death Metal, the most common worry with long albums is that it’ll eventually get boring. There’s a fear that, 9 or 10 songs in, the album will lose its charm. With “Perspicacity,” there is no dense or dullness. Most songs flow into each other smoothly, making me think that the first few songs were one, long song. There is a lot to unpack when listening, with little hints of ambient aspects in the background and polyrhythmic diversity littered throughout. Some songs are more riff-oriented, others are melody driven, but ultimately the shining figure of it all is the sheer talent of the musicians. Everything that they do fits together in perfect symmetry; the guitars and bass match the aggression of the drum patters and the mid-ranged vocals compliment the music rather than take away from it. With some Tech Death bands, they fall flat in the vocal department. They vocals may be too melodic for the fierce background music, or the music is too raw and chuggy for the mid-vocals. Everything was thought out and planted perfectly into the earworm that is “Perspicacity.”
The biggest thing that separates Aronious from other Tech Death metal acts is their flashiness. Many bands fall into deep temptation to be the fastest, most scale-knowing band out there. Sometimes it works for that band and sometimes that band incorporates extreme riffage with the fast, shreddy nature of the genre. Aronious’ biggest attraction is the fact that they know when to slow things down. They’re not out here to be the “best,” but they’re also not afraid to show that they are extremely talented musicians. They’re definitely holding back the sheer raw power that they harness, and they deliver some of the tastiest licks of this years so far. They’re not taking any prisoners with this release – songs like “Delusions of Superiority” and “Somatic Evolvement” gouge out the listener’s eyes with mid-paced grooves and bouncy riffs to give any trampoline a run for their money.
Overall, if I’m not listening to the DOOM Eternal soundtrack on repeat, you can bet this album is blasting in my headphones before I go to bed. There’s everything that I want in an album packed into a 58-minute gut punch of a record. The one thing that truly draws me to the album is the artwork – it’s mystical and whimsical – it ultimately caught my eye because I always hope that the album cover is as epic as the record itself. Believe me when I say the cover matches the noodles.
FFO: Born of Osiris, Virvium, First Fragment