AristeiA - How to Kill a King
Owain Paciuszko 19/12/2008
The first thing I thought when I opened the jiffy envelope to reveal Portland, Oregon band AristeiA's six track EP was; 'That is fantastic packaging.' The CD arrived housed in a little cloth pouch with a roughly painted crown on the front, and the artwork adorning the inlay card and cd is equally aesthetically appealing.
Opening with church bells 'The Might of the Sword' starts as an ominous affair with shades of Clint Mansell's score for 'Requiem for a Dream', a comparison that continues as the harsh, industrial drums kick. It's a swift and atmospheric introduction before the Mogwai-like cacophony of 'Feedback King' bursts out of the speakers, with a strong guitar line over splashy drumming it then enters Math-Rock territory and inverts in on itself as guitar, bass and synth intermingle.
Similar things occur on 'Stairway to Heaven II: The Stampede into Heaven', yet they lose some of their bluster and impact when the same tricks and changes crop up quite predictably. Though this four-piece are extremely talented musicians there's too little going on here to keep tracks fresh and you find yourself zoning out a little, only realising two minutes into the next track that the last one finished.
'I'll Take Mine Black' has a guitar line that nudges up close to The Beatle's 'Across the Universe', and the song kind of benefits as a result. Meanwhile the brilliantly titled 'Panda vs. Satan' and, the not so brilliantly titled, 'The Might of the Dragon' merge into one another with such anonimity that I didn't notice until the EP stopped. In some ways this could be seen as a concept piece, divided into six parts just so you don't freak out at the idea of listening to one 24 minute track, but, unfortunately be it one track or six it's not enough to hold the attention.