The Blessed Sleep is the new EP from technical death metal act Ara. Containing 5 songs at roughly 20 minutes long, The Blessed Sleep is quick yet brutal, showing some promise but at the same time offering up little in terms of originality. While the songs are well recorded, with plenty of crunch coming from the guitars and the drums hitting hard, there's just nothing here that we haven't all heard before. First of all, the band call themselves a 'progressive/technical death metal' band, and while yes, some of the arrangements are complex (especially the title track) much of what you get here is standard death metal and a little deathcore. It's all performed admirably though, so it's hard to fault from a musical standpoint, but the vocals for me are what brings things down considerably. A mix of annoying pig grunts, screams, hardcore styled bellows, and traditional death growls make up the brutal vocal mix, and while the growls are well executed, it's the grunts & hardcore rants that just don't cut it here, and bring parts of the EP down.
So, The Blessed Sleep isn't going to set the extreme world on fire by any means, but the musicianship is solid (if unspectacular) and the band does show some promise. Once they figure out what is and what isn't working from a vocal perspective, I can see Ara tightening up their sound and possibly taking things to another level. As it stands right now, they are not quite there yet.
Demise of Reason
The Blessed Sleep