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Ara Brings Anger Back to Technical Death Metal in “Abhortion”


Technical death metal, or “tech-death” as a certain editor insists on calling it here, is an interesting beast. All the inherent musicianship of death metal dialed up to 11, but with a sacrifice: most of the time, bands who occupy this genre space seem to lack any emotion whatsoever. Save for a select few, technical death metal is a blank canvas, and few, if any, seem to want to delve into emotion’s depths.

Wisconsin’s Ara, on the other hand, make a stark reminder that technical death metal comes from, well, death metal. Though this four-piece, boasting members of Northless and Syrictus, has a penchant for musical flourishing and extremely technical riffing, emotion doesn’t take a back seat, and it makes for an interesting listen, if just because their peers seem to lack any emotion at all. In as such, Ara is pissed — angry in a way which is near cartoonish. This is angry in the way Tipper Gore says any metal is. Listen to an exclusive premiere of “Abhortion” off their upcoming album Jurisprudence below.

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From the band:

This is easily our most cohesive material to date while at the same time most challenging, and great care was given to preserve songwriting integrity while still confronting the limitations of the genre. We purposely dialed back some of the otherworldly elements of the last record and focused on an organic approach rooted in a more terrestrial soundscape. This enabled us to regain a relationship with more conceivable elements of tragedy and horror while still expanding on human revulsion to them and existence in general.

From guitarist Jerry Hauppa:

As for the cover, I found myself intrigued by dead languages, and what causes a language and tradition to die. I came across an African language called ǁXegwi that died when its last remaining speaker was murdered, and I thought about what a tragedy that is to have something passed for generations be taken way in such a violent means, but then I thought about a fantasy scenario where maybe the last speaker was murdered because the language had to be killed. Maybe there was something evil in that language where it couldn’t be uttered by someone without consequence and there was a positive motive to ending it. So being inspired by that idea I came up with the visuals for the artwork and the severed tongues as a warning to those who decide to trespass linguistically into forbidden grounds. The lyrical concepts for this are explored in “Etymologicide” but the album title “Jurisprudence” reflects the idea of forbidding a cursed language as written law with a visual warning to those who betray it.

Ara is independently releasing Jurisprudence on May 15th.

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