The Smell Of Victory In the Air.
Review for the previous album and latest singles for the upcoming album from Aramis, current album is available here!
It wafts through the air, it makes your hair stand on end, some call it intuition, some call it destiny, whatever it is, whenever you smell it in the air and you feel it deep in your bones, you know that you're victorious. Victory in life comes in many forms, be it from life's little victory's to all out battles and wars waged. The music industry, especially in the metal scene, is definitely a harsh landscape as such. Nik Hayes, the praefectus of the independent project, Aramis, is all too familiar with the ins and outs and hard work it takes to do this in the metal scene alone, constantly fighting for just a chance for someone to hear his music and appreciate his hard work. He is a one man music machine. All photography, videos, editing and mixing, album design and layout, it's all him and you can hear his arduous work, day in and day out, within his music with each song.
For this review I am going to be going over not only Aramis' first album, Insignificant Memories, But I will also be going over a standalone single called, Constrictor, that was released prior to the work beginning for Nik's upcoming album, PLUS. I'll also be going over his latest two singles taken from his upcoming album and all links will be provided below this review.
Insignificant Memories is not only the title of his first album released, but it is also the name of the first song I ever heard from Nik, and it was just on a whim. Scrolling through the endless landscapes of bands online, the band name, Aramis forced me to stop the repetitive scrolling and the title of the song alone is what caught my eye, so I gave it a shot. Boy was I glad that I hit that play button. An amazing array of riff laden hooks and vicious vocals sucked me and quite literally never let go until the last note played. This was some serious shit here. I knew I had to reach out to him for Metal Incorporated, and since then he has been a valuable asset in it's growth and expansion helping behind the scenes like some crazed techno-wizard behind the curtain. So it is with utmost pleasure that today I sit down and go over his musical offerings and introduce to all of you his project of personal passion known as, Aramis.
Ripping into this album is the opening track that hits like a runaway freight train titled, Arrogance Project. Damn if this song wouldn't completely level a place if it were to ever be played live, the pits would be so brutal and fun! The complete old school thrash approach here is pungent and oh so approved by this old school metal head here. Arrogance Project would slide right in along the likes of classic Exodus, Metallica and Slayer, or simply put, The Big 4, but it brings along with it that special touch that helps bridge the gap between old school thrash metal to more modern American metal the likes of Lamb Of God or Pantera or Mastadon. Some fantastic song structuring in this track keeps it lively all the way until the end with some creative solo work in the mix, all this makes for an explosive album opener that will leave you hungry for more.
Pursuer is the following track and it kicks into a groove that doesn't let up. Old school Anthrax is definitely coming to mind here with that constant Scott Ian stomping rhythm. Nik's vocals here are distinctly different than the opening track, which was much more guttural and aggressive, this song almost sounds more like an homage to James Hetfield or the god himself, Lemmy Kilmister and it goes great hand in hand with his aggressive vocals and adds a nice touch to the riff work. This song is just pure old school metal fun. A definite beer drinking tune so let's grab a cold one and carry on to the next track.
A atmospheric opening grabs you and pulls you in before a hammering riff comes at you with Nebulous, the fourth track off what is so far a most excellent album that harkens back to the glory days of the metal scene. The bass and drums in this song are distinctly a force that drives this track on, they rumble and beat you down along the way. Some interesting tempo changes and riffs come into play here on this track and makes for a fresh take to the standard rinse and repeat approach of old school metal songs. From groovy moments, to tremolo blasting that comes at you like a bat out of hell, to powerful and emotional moments strewn about, Nebulous hits on many different levels and is a very welcome change of pace.
The next track up takes a different approach and is one of those songs that the louder you blast it, the louder you wish you could blast it, because it's one of those ultra pissed off sounding songs that just make you want to wreck shit with hard hitting, unrelenting, slow tempo styled headbanging riffs. You know the songs and riffs I'm talking about here, the ones that just bring that "something" out of you that was laying dormant until riffs like this wake it up from it's festering sleep. Born Of Man is a definite candidate for one of the hardest hitting songs I've heard in awhile. It keeps a slow and punishing tempo throughout it and just leaves you feeling satisfied.
One Above All takes us on another ripping journey through fast riffing and old school sounds. The metal gods must shine down upon Nik because this track brought a wicked smile to my face as I listened and bobbed my head while typing this out for all of you. Fun riffs and hooks keep you going here with this one before a explosive mid song section that just absolutely destroys and would make the likes of even Dave Mustaine give Nik a nod of approval for this track. This shit kicks so much ass.
We now come to the end of this album and with the end here is my favorite track from Aramis. This song is such a fitting closing track to what has been such a badass album. The main riff in this song is just so damn catchy and heavy, it WILL get stuck in your head if you're not careful. It is played in such crucial key moments of this song that just elevate it to a heavy and beautifully constructed piece of metal. There really is no way to describe how this song makes me feel, it is truly a song that one simply has to experience for themselves to understand. Insignificant Memories bridges gaps between traditional thrash metal, and old school melodeath and even brings in some of those dark and moody feelings of the black metal bands of old. This song is the perfect example of what Aramis is about and what Nik is capable of. Fanfuckingtastic is all I can say.
After the insane rush that album gave off, its now time to dive into the standalone single Nik released prior to writing new material for his upcoming album. Constrictor breaks down the gate from the very get go. A quick tempo that comes right for your jugular with a groove that pulls you in. Constrictor shows that while Nik was getting ready for his new material, he had some rather heavy riffs that were just waiting to be unleashed. This is another song that blends styles quite well between metal genres and is a strong standalone piece of metal mayhem for you all to check out.
The next track is his first single off of his upcoming album called Promethean Treatment. I was eager to hear what Nik had been cooking up since he went into hiding to begin writing for his new album. When he emerged, he brought with him a heavy slab of riffs. Promethean Treatment hears Nik honing what makes Aramis so uniquely his. It still has the ability to evoke emotions that are distinct to Aramis, but it's all delivered in such a way that he seems to expertly play within the old school genres of metal that we all love and always go back to. If this is the first taste of his new album, then I'm ready for the full course meal when this album is released upon the masses. Neck breaking riffs and even more attention to details in the guitar melody and solo department, you can tell Nik has been hard at work.
You Are The Enemy is the latest and brand new single from Aramis and it comes with more heavier than a ton of bricks riffs. The one stand out thing with this track is that you can tell that Nik has spent some time really working on the drums and bass and how those instruments sound in tandem with the guitars and his vocals, it's a step up in production from Insignificant Memories without sacrificing any of that albums overall heaviness, it dances a perfect dance of heaviness and sound engineering. This is another one of those tracks that you just want to turn it up so loud that you blow out your neighbors windows in doing so. It has great riffs and a constant ebb and flow to it that if you were to put it on repeat, you'd easily lose yourself in its symphony of destruction(see what I did there?).
What more can I say about Aramis? What more NEEDS to be said about the music that Nik Hayes demonstrates? Nothing. This shit kicks your face in and is deserving of your attention plain and simple. I feel that Nik is on a warpath with his music and that his music is his stepping stone towards victory in the metal scene. It should be a crime for any metal head worth their salt to NOT go show him your support on his social media pages and to give his music a listen and even purchase it for yourself in support over on his band camp. Now, I know that Insignificant Memories is an older album but I'm just doing my part to help bring more attention to this amazing album, all while trying to get people ready for the next offering from Nik and Aramis that will be releasing soon. Insignificant Memories is almost perfect, the only downfall with it is it's just too damn short, it leaves you wanting more, but that can also be a part of it's charm. The fact that it will leave you wanting to come back to it can also play to this music's strengths and keep it in your musical rotation. This album is a solid 9 out of 10 and I strongly urge all who may read this to go give these songs a listen and hear what I've been talking about for yourselves, you're going to need a neck brace afterwards, trust me, it really does just simply kick your teeth in!
Review done by Joshuah Jones, the bassist of The Obsidian Resurrection.
Interview with Nik Hayes of Aramis with Metal For The Masses Radio Show: