I’m on a roll with recommending new tech death this week, what with a rapidfire review for new EPs from Sutrah and Svengahli and now a full stream of the excellent debut from Aronious. As you’ll hear for yourself below, Perspicacity (available Friday, March 13, via The Artisan Era) is a tech death tour de force pulling from seemingly every corner of the genre. As the band outlines below in a quick Q&A, their music is influenced by and incorporates the groove of Meshuggah, melody of The Black Dahlia Murder, and the dissonance and atmosphere of Ulcerate, along with a whole host of other death metal greats. I encourage you to play Perspicacity at full volume while you read about the band’s influences, approach to songwriting, and more.
Let’s start with a simple but potentially open-ended question: why “Aronious” and “Perspicacity”? How do those names summarize the focus of the band and your new album?
We chose the name Aronious because honestly we just thought the word “Erroneous” was a cool word, but of course the original spelling was already taken by a band. Being that the word means “wrong” we thought it would be a fun play on words to spell the word wrong as “Aronious.”
Perspicacity was chosen as the album name because by definition it means “having a ready insight into things; shrewdness.” As a concept album, Perspicacity lyrically is about the oddities of human life and views on the world around us. Tackling concepts such as life, death, the evolution of man, where we have come from as a species and potentially where we are heading. Given the concepts addressed in the album, we felt that title encapsulates the lyrical concept quite well.
I’ve been spinning (and loving) Perspicacity a lot since I received the promo. I hear a ton of different death metal influences across the record, but rather than voice my observations, I wanted to ask you directly. What creative vision informed the making of the album? Were there specific genres or combination of styles (death metal or otherwise) that you had in mind during the writing process?
We really just wanted to put out an album that featured a diverse variety of sounds. Essentially, we wanted to combine a technical sound with a lot of dissonance and groove. You don’t hear a ton of technical bands with dissonance included so we wanted to incorporate both of those facets into our sound. For our first album we thought we would try to create a cohesive piece in which all the songs flow into each other relatively seamlessly for a more ambitious effort.
There’s a lot of multi-faceted songwriting on the album, including how it’s structured. How do you decide when to split songs into multi-part suites and when a track should have vocals or remain instrumental? Are you writing to flesh out an established concept for the album, or are these decisions made retroactively once the ideas for a song come together?
When we were putting together the album, we wanted our first album to tell a musical story where there are a lot of peaks and valleys to explore throughout the album’s run time. Instrumentally, guitarist Ryan Brumlic would piece together the songs and then try to figure out logically what sequence makes the most sense as far as album flow goes. Our ex-guitarist Brandon Brown also assisted with some of the writing on songs “Perspicacity Part I,” “Somatic Evolvement,” “The Passage of Knowledge,” “Modernity Part II,” “Delusions of Superiority,” and “A Grim Fate.” Once we had the songs set, we pondered more seamless ways for each song to segue into the next.
As far as deciding what songs are two-part songs or instrumental, that all primarily depended on the lyrics. Our vocalist Zach Earley would decide what ones he felt functioned well as two part songs and ones he thought were better suited as instrumentals. Additionally, we thought an instrumental break in the middle of the album would benefit the concept album as a whole. It is meant to serve as almost an intermission between the first half and second half of the album while still tying it all together.
With my recent interviews, I’ve been focusing on how bands view their local scenes, both in a vacuum and in the context of what they’ve experienced in other states/countries while on tour. From your vantage point in Green Bay, what are some of the highlights of Wisconsin’s metal scene, and what are some ways you hope it continues to grow or change?
The local scene in Green Bay is a very friendly and compassionate one. Metal fans of all types show up to each show and there is a ton of camaraderie between the bands. There are many great notable gems to be found in the scene. Bands that come immediately to mind are Crater, Pangaea, Staves, Immortalis, and of course Micawber who have been a band in the scene for quite a long time whose longevity and talent we definitely admire.
An area of improvement that we would like to see is just more venues open to taking on some more metal shows. Don’t get me wrong, there are a decent amount of good venues to play in Green Bay for metal music, but of course the more the merrier!
Rapid Fire Round
Best Album of 2019
Between all of us we couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Here are some of our top picks:
- Tool – Fear Inoculum
- Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
- Richard Henshall – The Cocoon
- Warforged – I: Voice
- Fractal Universe – Rhizomes of Insanity
- Equipoise – Demiurgus
Favorite Album of All-Time
Now, this is a tough one. Here are a couple albums we all enjoy and left an impact on us.
- Meshuggah – Catch 33
- The Black Dahlia Murder – Nocturnal
- Nero Di Marte – Derivae
- Tool – Lateralus
- Ulcerate – Everything is Fire
- Gorguts – Colored Sands
- Cynic – Traced in Air (RIP Sean Reinert)
- Decapitated – Organic Hallucinosis
- Blotted Science – The Mechinations Of Dementia
- The Faceless – Planetary Duality
- Necrophagist – Epitaph
- Fallujah – The Harvest Wombs
Biggest Source of Inspiration
We take a lot of inspiration from our peers in the metal community whether it be at the local or national level. We are always listening to new bands and albums to see how others are taking technical/progressive death metal sounds and further innovating it. Ultimately, we are continually striving to create a unique and visceral piece of art that has its own distinct sound. The ability to express ourselves through our music in a unique fashion is in itself the greatest inspiration to us of all.
Most Anticipated Album(s) of 2020