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We all know that melodic death metal is best known for being a fine product of sweden and therefor most of the great bands are from sweden like At the Gates, In Flames, Amon Amarth, etc. But there are a hand full of great melodic death metal bands from the US like The Absence, Vehemance and my favorite melodic death metal band of all time Arsis. A Celebration of Guilt is eleven tracks of pure power and emotion and any fan of metal in any form should have this album.
In the small amount of time between there formation and the release of this masterpiece (they were signed to willowtip after there fifth show) Arsis managed to create a sound that balanced out elements of technical death metal, melodic death metal, and thrash and throughout this album you can hear all elements clearly. Another thing about Arsis the attracted me to there music is the lyrical content of their songs. Many of the lyrics in their song come from the brilliant mind of singer/lead guitarist James Malone who also composes almost all of the music by Arsis. For those who are not familiar with James he has dealt with depression problems his whole life and has gone through alchoholism and losing one-hundred pounds in four months due to anorexia. Needless to say many of the lyrics in Arsis songs deal with his own problems in life.
This album opens up with the track "The Face of my Innocence" which is an extremely catchy and very technical and contains although very short god like solo. In my opinion the second track "Maddening Disdain" is the stand out track of this album for containing a great amount of catchy thrash style riffs and tons of vocal hooks in James Malone's Dimmu Borgir style voice. Truly though none of the songs on this album pass by without notice as each one of them is catchy, extremely well-written, and contain a killer solo by James. My vote for best solo on this album would be the solo on the track "The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letter".
In addition to James the other member of Arsis who is more or less a staple of the band is the drummer on this album Mike Van Dyne who had quit the band to finish college and get a degree but now he is back with Arsis and there new album "Starve for the Devil" due out in february 2010 is shaping up to be a kickass death metal album. Overall I gave this album a perfect score because this album changed the way I look at the whole genre of death metal and completely changed the way I write music and I hope people who read this review go buy the album and have it effect them the way it did me.
"The Face of my Innocence"
"Carnal ways to Recreate the Heart"
"The sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letter"