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The biggest album letdown of the year - 48%

wakemeup36, December 30th, 2010

It pains me to give this album a below average rating. Arthemis has never been an outstanding band. But they've always managed to release albums that are decent to good. At this point, I was just thinking that this band couldn't do any wrong. Then this album came along. I remember how I found this band. I saw a video of 'Angels In Black' from the Black Society. Absolutely hated the song. Checked out rest of the album and was surprised by how good it was. With this album, it was quite the opposite. Ironically, I saw the music video for 'Scars On Scars' and was extremely impressed. Listened to the album and was completely disapppointed.

First thing most people will notice on this album is the change of the vocalist. Fabio D. is the replacement for their previous vocalist, Alessio Garavello. His range isn't as much as Alessio but holy spaghetti does he have a strong voice! And on the first track, 'Scars On Scars', he uses his strength very well. Provides a very heroic feel to the song. However, on the rest of the album, he isn't allowed to capitalize properly on his gift all that much. On the very consecutive song 'Vortex', the verses on the song sound so annoyingly manufactured, it sounds like something you'd expect from a post grunge band and not a power metal one. Even when he uses his powerful vocals are used in other parts of the album, I'm already turned off by the initially generic vocals with mainstream sensibilities that the vocals, now no matter how good, are ultimately ineffective.

When I first listened to the song 'Scars On Scars', I was constantly thinking 'Damn, this is heavy!' and indeed, the guitars are very heavy, particularly for a Euro power band. Unfortunately, as there is an emphasis on this heaviness, the band forgets that this still a power metal album. And power metal albums are based on catchiness and hooks. Other than the first track, I can't remember too many parts of the album. Sure, there are some catchy riffs on the album but these quickly descend into a pseudo thrash, watered down groove metal territory. These parts are very dull, boring and uninspired. Just because the guitar tone is heavy and you're chugging constantly doesn't mean you've made a good riff. Some of the other riffs, while not groove inspired, still sound very watered down and remind me of abominations like Linkin Park and Nickleback. The guitar solos aren't much better. I mean they're fast and energetic, but there's nothing's fun or memorable about them. Sure, there are some cool guitar melodies and harmonies here and there, but it really doesn't matter with all of them being covered with either insipid riffs or uninteresting, generic vocals. For example, there's a part after the rather irritating solo in '7Days', an amazing pure power metal guitar melody plays but the insipid chorus comes in and ruins it all.

The drums are fortunately consistent throughout the whole album. They're very strong and not repetitive at all. The drummer provides cool fills and beats, very strong double bass and really great use of the cymbal. The bassist doesn't make himself too apparent but provides a few cool bass licks. Unfortunately, neither the drums or the bass can save the album from it's lifeless and unmemorable fate.

Man, I haven't felt something this disheartening and dissatisfying since someone made me realize that the life of an adult was much harder than being a kid at the tender age of 10. Arthemis can clearly write good songs. They showcased it on this album and even showcased it here. There were some very cool riffs and melodies spread throughout the album, but in ratio to the bland riffs and vocals, the good stuff is negligible. It's like the band's going 'Yeah, we can make enjoyable songs and here's some proof, but we'd rather make something utterly mediocre'. Want solid power metal? Listen to their previous albums because other than 'Scars On Scars', you're not going to find any here.