Arsis, in classical music parlance, most commonly refers to the up-beat, or unstressed parts of a measure. The term seems an odd choice of name for a technical death metal outfit whose lyrics focus on death, defilement, and the destruction of the sacred, and whose pummeling assault leaves no room for breath, like a sonic punch to the stomach. Nothing is upbeat, nothing left unstressed.
That being said, Arsis is not entirely disinclined to throw in the occasional flourish of undistorted guitar, perhaps even allowing the occasional quarter-note to ring out from between the walls of jackhammer sludge punctuated by neck-wringing guitar workouts. Fans of the band will be glad to hear that James Malone, who had been limited to guitar by an overstressed voice, is back behind the mike, adding his strangely subtle growl back into the mix. Apparently a little bit of arsis has done him a lot of good. -- Nicholas Hall
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Arsis performs with Warbringer, Exodus, and Goatwhore Wednesday, January 30 at the Culture Room, 3045 N Federal Hwy, Ft Lauderdale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $13 in advance, or $15 at the door. All ages are welcome. Visit www.cultureroom.net or www.ticketmaster.com.