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Arsyn - 2000 Degeneration


ARSYN - DEGENERATION (2000, ROCK SOLID ENTERTAINMENT)
Collin Whalen - vocals
Brett Corse - guitars
Bob Gates - bass
Alan Johnson - drums


Background
Chicago based rockers present their debut offering, a solid progressive piece of metal, with strong influences from a wide range of bands like Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam and Monster Magnet. The album strikes an interesting balance. Hard short shifting riffs combine with fast but not manic pace. The vocals are throaty and heavy without falling to those silly demonically possessed thrash metal vocals that ruin so much great metal these days. Clever guitar and bass weave in to produce a dark and sinister sound. Lastly but by no means least there is a solid techno/trance use of keyboards, no sweeping strings AOR style anywhere to be seen. This is very progressive metal with sinister overtones laced with melodic veins running throughout the tracks.

The Songs
Eleven tracks in total of which two are re-mixes. The re-mixes having an even stronger techno feel to them, the track are all hard and heavy, little sign of a ballad or accoustic intro. But plenty of variation and scope. It's not too long before you find yourself humming some of these tracks for as heavy as this stuff is, it still holds good melody while also having some good guitar interludes. There are some catchy time changes and lot of attention has been paid to production. Just to show their versatility 'Psycho Super Society' has some great backing vocals, 'Succubus Blues' a cheeky little tune complete with harmonica and 'Knock Down Mr Foolish' make sure you know they are not too serious about life and all that.

In Summary
Interestingly enough it took me a while to like this album, it is very easy to write it off as very superficial mainstream metal album. But persistence has it's rewards and you begin to see below the surface and find that there is quite a lot of depth to the music. It will be interesting to see where Arsyn go from here. They have managed to intertwine a number of styles and techniques to produce a colourful and entertaining album. Well worth a listen.

Track Listing:
01 Kill Joy
02 Blind Fury
03 Psycho Super Society
04 Knock Em Down Mr Foolish
05 Hit The Ground
06 Will Be Gone
07 Exist And Die
08 Silent Scream
09 Succubus Blues
10 Kill Joy (Cenzo Mix)
11 Blind Fury (Baldy Remix)

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