Visitant, the latest extreme metal album from Arsis, is spooky, wildly unpredictable, and lots of fun. With ever-evolving tracks, eerie instrumentation, and haunting melodies, Visitant offers a surprising auditory experience that takes listeners to the edge and over it.
The record begins with “Tricking the Gods,” a song featuring supernatural-sounding effects. Rolling drums and gravelly vocals jump start the track. It feels like several songs in one, because the song becomes very operatic through battling guitars and ghostly solos. With “Hell Sworn,” the double bass drums and shouting annihilate listeners from the onset. Delayed, faded screams towards the end sound like yells into oblivion.
“Easy Prey” has full-throttle riffing, supersonic double bass drumming, and inhuman screeching. The lightning-quick breakdowns are enticing and otherworldly. The lyrics are also ethereal. “I am the voice of the darkness, a reflection from beyond.”
“Fathoms” is tranquil and symphonic, particularly towards the beginning and end. Soon, pulverizing riffs and atmospheric flourishes enter the track. The vocals are also at times beautiful and gritty. “As Deep as Your Flesh” sounds untamed in the beginning and all comes together seamlessly, especially for the solo.
“A Pulse Keeping Time With the Dark” begins like a horror soundtrack and transforms into a black magic show. “Funereal Might” has face-melting guitar shreds and barking vocals. The sense of doom is especially heavy in “Death Vow.” Gasping vocals sound like someone struggling for breath after being submerged under water. The tension and stakes feel high in “Death Vow” because the song gets so fast to the point of convulsion.
Every lick and beat feels like a shiv in “Dead is Better.” The vocals also seem different by this point in the album. There’s a ghoulishness to the guttural growls and yells that transform the singing here in the record.
“Under the Knife” is super gradual in its pace. It’s like a preparation for the final battle. Visitant concludes with “His Eyes,” one last nightmare for this Halloween horror show. This final song is the ultimate boon, and it feels transformative as far as listening experiences are concerned after hearing everything on the record.
October came and went, but the long Halloween goes on in Visitant by Arsis.