Aronious – Perspicacity (Review)

Aronious - PerspicacityThis is the debut album from US death metallers Aronious.

Aronious play non-typical progressive/technical death metal, and on Perspicacity they have gifted us with 59 minutes of the stuff.

A sophisticated and modern take on the style, a lot of bases are covered during this album’s ambitious running time. The band are clearly a talented bunch, and seem to know their instruments inside out. There’s more here than just overly technical waffling, however, as the band’s skills have been channelled into a set of tracks that hold attention a lot longer than simple flashy ostentation would allow for.

The music ranges from the intellectual to the visceral, taking in everything from straightforward crushing groove to imposing complexity, (with more of a balance to the latter overall, it has to be said). This is a band who are more comfortable taking a circuitous route to their destination, consistently taking unusual and atypical directions with their material. It’s death metal, but viewed from a slightly different perspective than is the norm. Imagine Meshuggah as a technical death metal band, and you’ll be roughly on the right lines.

The album displays a certain amount of inhuman brutality, as you would want from something tagged as death metal, but achieves a lot more besides just this as brutality is not really the point of a band like Aronious. A variety of paces and atmospheres are explored throughout, adding up to an engaging album that has a good flow, both in individual tracks and across the release as a whole – most songs tend to go right from one track to the next. The songs are enhanced by lots of interesting ideas and creative flourishes, such as keyboards, wandering bass, and extraterrestrial melodies, as needed. Dissonance and neoclassical elements are also employed to good effect as the album unfolds in its own carefully-considered way. The end result is an album that’s best taken as a whole, and delivers a decidedly non-standard death metal experience.

Perspicacity is not the type of album that reveals its secrets immediately. Best approached over time, once you get to know its labyrinthine ways, it has such sights to show you.

I highly recommend that you spend the time to get to know this beast.

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