A one man project with a mix Metalcore, Deathcore and Progressive, Aristic aka Niklas Runstad hails from Gothenburg Sweden. For his debut full length album, he’s invited seven different vocalists from local Metal bands in Sweden to appear on his Instrumental work in the hope that they can increase their own fan bases as well as help create Artistic by sharing the finished album. Produced by Mathias Rexius and mixed and mastered by Max Maly of Sequence Sound to help bring the finished product to life, “Dimensions” was released at the end of September.
The album starts with “Memoirs” which features vocals from Nicklas Blucher, surprisingly the only one of the guests who isn’t in a band at the time of writing. The opening riffs flirt with Power Metal with some slick lead work underpinning a Metalcore sound with a wonderful sense of melody in stark contrast to the raspy unclean vocals. Very much a modernized take on the work of the best of the 2000’s Metalcore era bands with impressive production and some bright moments, it’s an absolute joy. Album title track “Dimensions” has some programmed drum sounds with deeper and darker Deathcore vocals from Adam Rexius of A Dead Tree Doesn’t Talk. The way the music has been constructed means you end up with Melodic Death Metal vibes with riffs of grandiosity in places creating a rise and fall flow. In Flames of old could have produced a track on this quality but if they did now, heads would be turned. The “Bleigh!” moment is a surprise piece of magic straight out of Hogwarts. Track three is called “Diversity” and features guest vocals from Nicklas Fagerberg of Lost Seconds. His higher pitched screamed unclean style lends itself well to the more melodic Metalcore guitar work with hints at bands like Counterparts being an influence during the chorus. The spoken word bridge and break back into a breakdown is of superior quality and a again a short programmed drum loop and orchestral fade out adds a touch something else that acts as a pallette cleansing before the next song. Introducing some Post Hardcore elements “Fears And Convictions” features Joar W. Anfinset of Dream Drop and moves things in a different direction. Anfinset mixes up the vocals so you get a bright sing-a-long chorus and some sharper Screamo verses, though there is enough of the Artistic core sound in the mix to hold it together in the album context with the glorious lead guitars being a thing of beauty.
At just over two minutes it would be easy to think that instrumental “Overworld” is a filler track. It’s anything but. A darker vibe with some eerie synths and Tech-Metal riffs makes it a track that actually cuts shot when you want more from it and it would be nice to think that it would reappear on the next release extended out. “Guidelines” sees Joshua Amirose of Concealed In Clouds pick up the microphone and lay down a claim for the crown. A track that crosses genres with consummate ease with a Post Hardcore chorus and a Melodic Metalcore verse, throwing blast beats and a vibrant technicolor solo into the mix makes for a great listen. You might even call it Progressive Metal at some points. “Sirius” has Johan Segerstorm of solo project Human Machinery appearing in the light on a track that offers dirge laiden Tech-Metal riffage. His darker vocals allow for some more aggresive tendencies in the music with some thicker gauge DJentisms a welcome addition to the albums sound. There is a relentless high quality to “Dimensions” with something new appearing in the mix from each track on each repeated listen, its depth and complexity is a marvel. “Iris” brings back the Deathcore vocals with Andrew Johansson of Unfound Reliance adding the weight and gravity of the moon impacting on the Earth to the heavier opening blasts. The sung chorus is perhaps a surprise move on the chess board but works really well and gives the opportunity for some more expansive music and what you’re left with is a varied and thoroughly enjoyable listen from start to finish. The only real question is how you go about taking something like this live [8/10]
Memoirs ft. Nicklas Blucher
Dimensions ft. Adam Rexius of A Dead Tree Doesn’t Talk
Diversity ft. Nicklas Fagerberg of Lost Seconds
Fears And Convictions ft. Joar W. Anfinset of Dream Drop
Guidelines ft. Joshua Amirose of Concealed In Clouds
Sirius ft. Johan Segerstorm of Human Machinery
Iris ft. Andrew Johansson of Unfound Reliance
“Dimensions” by Aristic is out now and available over at iTunes