Metal-Rules.com has probably not given the Italian band Arthemis enough attention. I know I certainly haven’t. I bought the debut album way back but it never stuck a chord with me and I did not follow the band. The site did not review an Arthemis album until 2012, their 7th album, WE FIGHT. Now after half a decade the band is back with album number eight called BLOOD-FURY-DOMINATION.
Much has changed in the five years, the band has stepped up from the lesser known Off Yer Rocka Records to the respected, long-standing Italian label, Scarlet. Half the band is new with only original member Andrea remaining and newer singer Fabio while the rhythm section is all new. They are back with a very cool album cover with three with demon chicks, presumably Blood, Fire and Domination.
As I said I have not followed the evolution of he band but they seem to have adapted more intense and modern sound. I immediately thought of a band Like the heaviest of Rob Zombie or later-era Ozzy. The production is much more modern as well, which I’m not as much a fan of, lots of electro-distorted sounds and tones. Those little industrial tinges and flourishes are fine and not over-represented. Underneath the digital sheen and heavy keyboards are some very solid, traditionally arranged songs, lead by the powerful voice of Fabio. The solos are great the use of pinch harmonics popping up once in a while but Andrea can certainly play! The pace of the 40 minute album is pretty intense until track five, a new ballad called ‘ If I Fall’. After that brief respite it is back to the intensity and fire of the driving Metallized cuts. There are certainly more powerful than a traditional European sounding Power Metal band but not wuite in the thrash or death category either. This sound that tries to straddle Thrash and Power is hard to capture and few bands do it well, that is why so many bands choose sides and gravitate one way or the other.
Arthemis are a good band, entertaining and enjoyable but I can’t shake the feeling that they might just have gone as far as they can go. After almost 20 years and eight albums, they are still a lesser known entity, and I don’t believe a household name in the Metal community, at least not in North America. It is not due to a lack of Quality, BLOOD-FURY-DOMINATION is an above average record but maybe just lack the killer song-writing needed to take the band into the upper echelons.
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