Artas

The Healing

Written by: PP on 14/11/2008 16:48:41

Modern metal is a bit of a pseudo-genre as it's mostly used as a cover up for bands that combine elements from the recently popularized genres like metalcore, nu-metal and deathcore solely for the purpose of avoiding the bad stigma associated with the said genres. In some cases, it's used to describe a somewhat futuristic sound that draws from at least a couple of the genres and adds effect-laden keyboards to the background, but in Artas' case, it's simply used to cover up the fact that "The Healing" is essentially an album that's one third metalcore, one third nu-metal, and one-third death metal.

On the first two tracks, Artas actually succeed in combining those three genres together pretty well. There's the pummeling drums of death metal and a few serpentine riffs, but there's also a breakdown, and metalcore influenced riffs, and a angrily shouting vocalist who's neither screaming nor singing, but something in between the two. "Barbossa" is in-your-face and actually contains a mildly catchy chorus that you can sing along, and "Bastardo"'s breakneck speed riffing is enough to warrant at least a little attention. But after that, it goes all wrong as the band utterly destroy Coolio's rap-classic "Gangsta's Paradise" by smothering it with death-metallish riffs and annoyingly yell-rapped verses. The idea is good, but the execution is terrible.

The title track offers the last glimmers of optimism with its All That Remains-ish "YEAAAAAAAHHHH" opening scream and a good lead guitar riff, but hereafter the record loses its edge. The songs begin to blend together, and the expression becomes all too anonymous. Way too many times have I listened to this record thinking "this is pretty cool" in the beginning, and thereafter wondered what happened to all the catchy riffs and memorable choruses on the rest of the album. It's the same half-scream, crunching guitar, and crushing drum-sequence song after song, and despite there being a few hopeful moments every once in a while, they occur far too infrequently to make a real difference.

Download: Barbossa, The Healing
For the fans of: The Forsaken
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.09.2008
Napalm Records

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