The image we have of Italy is one of, food, wine, art, siesta, romance and yet it is also the home to some of the speediest metal bands that ever stalked the earth. Arthemis is one such band.
The opening track ‘Apocalyptic Nightmare’ is a statement of intent; solid, riffy, strong and then, wow, Arthemis sure as hell put the pedal to the metal. I’m not sure I’ve heard such fast double bass drums, it’s not so much a beat as a vibration.
And don’t think the guitars, bass or vocals are slouching either! ‘Empire’ carries on at the same furious pace. These are hammer drill riffs and likely to bring the walls down; I wouldn’t recommend this if you have structural problems in your house. Fabio’s vocal shows him to be a screamer of some considerable skill, the song finishes with out of breath panting and frankly I feel breathless too.
‘We Fight’, is such a mega sound. Andrea Martongelli absolutely rips it up in the solos, it epitomises what Italian metal bands do best. A hell for leather dash through as many notes as possible, played with fiery passion. Arthemis are in a similar mould to the UK’s Absolva and I feel you can hear this most in ‘Burning Star’.
The whole album is a wall of frenetic sound but it’s not messy. The riffs are sure and solid and the songs are individual and strong. The danger of speed metal is often the song writing gets lost in the need for speed, not so here. The pace slows for ‘Alone’ and frankly you’ll be glad to stop to catch your breath at this point. Metal bands don’t always manage ballads very well but this one has real feeling.
‘Reign of Terror’ and ‘Still Awake’ continue at breakneck pace. ‘The Man Who Killed the Sun’ is more epic. Finishing up with ‘Metal Hammer’, this has an Offspring vibe and may well be picked up by a certain metal magazine if they feel the need for a theme tune, it would be a perfect fit.
If you like your metal, fast, riffy and headbanging, then I highly recommend this album.
Blood of Generations
Cry for Freedom
Reign of Terror
The Man Who Killed the Sun