Arya are a young band from Italy, and by “young” I mean that all the members have significantly fewers years to them than I do. In terms of band lifespan, Arya has been around for over five years and For Ever is their fourth album (they have an EP out a well). Truly an impressive volume of output.
Their sound is firmly rooted in shoegaze and experimental metal, with some odd rhythms, spurious emotional outbursts and seemingly random sections bolted together. When something like this drops into the mailbox I always feel that it’s a bit like jazz – a ton of sounds jammed together and allowed to blend together at the edges while still allowing each part to influence the whole far more than one would expect. You have to concentrate on each individual performance within the song to get the most from it, rather than appreciate the overall piece.
Check out “Flares” below for an example of what I’m talking about. Multiple vocal tracks, some great (clashing) rhythms, guitars which flow for a while… then jump into another odd riff. While there is an overarching ambient feel, it’s one full of cactus needles waiting to catch you by surprise.
For Ever can get pretty heavy as well. “Lost War Song” tears at you despite the airy female vocals, being as they are backed by harsher voices and crashing drums. At the other end of the scale you have the utterly weird and pretty much instrumental (with a bit of spoken work) “Like Insects, Meat”. So weird it verges very much into “disturbing” territory.
This really has to be a style of music that you “get” for you to really appreciate it and I confess that I don’t (get it, that is). I can recognise a lot of talent here, and a ton of effort. The album has left the studio in good shape, given the number of tracks that must have needed mixed and overlaid to achieve the resulting sound. The performances are very much from each band member’s tortured heart and soul – I just feel I’m the wrong person to be reviewing this, though I definitely know some people who’ll get a lot out of it.
A few of the tracks can already be sampled via Bandcamp. Definitely check to see if it’s the kind of nightmare fuel that appeals to you. If it is, then pre-order it so you can wallow in its unusual-ness in a few days time.
For Ever is out on October 20th