is an American technical melodic death metal band from Virginia Beach, Virginia, formed in 2000. The band is currently signed to Nuclear Blast.Demos and Willowtip era (2000-2006)Arsis was started by James Malone and Mike Van Dyne in 2000, who met while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. They recorded two demos independently in 2001 and 2002 (which were later officially released via Negative-Existence Records), signed to Willowtip Records in 2003, and released two full-length albums and an EP from 2004 to 2006. During this time, Arsis performed on their first national tours with Misery Index, Incantation, Necrophagist, Neuraxis, Alarum, Dead to Fall, Misery Signals, The Faceless, All Shall Perish, Napalm Death, and A Life Once Lost, as well as performed on the main stage at the 2006 New England Metal and Hardcore Fest and the First Annual California Metalfest.The band's main composer, singer/guitarist/songwriter James Malone, wrote and performed all the guitar, vocal, and bass work on the first studio album, A Celebration of Guilt
, as well as the follow-up, A Diamond for Disease
. Malone also composed and performed a score for the off-Broadway ballet company Ballet Deviare, which was featured on MTV2 Headbanger's Ball
. He has a signature model for Washburn Guitars, and has cited King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Racer X, Iron Maiden, Emperor, Queensrÿche, Death, Dimmu Borgir and Dissection as being influential to him.Mike Van Dyne performed drums on all of Arsis' releases/tours up until early 2007, and recorded/toured again with the band from 2009 until 2011. Van Dyne has additionally recorded and performed notable live shows with The Final Sleep and Crimson Mask, and has noted his primary drum influences as being Scott Travis, Dave Lombardo, Paul Bostaph, and Gene Hoglan.
We Are the Nightmare and line-up changes (2007-2008)
The band signed to Nuclear Blast just before Mike Van Dyne departed. He would not appear on the first record with their new label and was replaced by Darren Cesca. Noah Martin, who performed bass on United in Regret
, and Ryan Knight were also added to the line-up to record We Are the Nightmare
.Darren Cesca was let go in 2008. His dismissal was cited as to differences in musical direction among him and the other members of Arsis. He was replaced on tour by Alex Tomlin of Battlemaster and later by Shawn Priest.Noah Martin quit the band in the fall of 2008. He left the band to finish his college degree.In late 2008, Nick Cordle and David Kinkade joined the band for guitar and drum duties, respectively.On December 21, 2008, Ryan Knight announced his departure from Arsis to join The Black Dahlia Murder.On March 18, 2009, James Malone issued a statement explaining and apologizing for recent tour cancellations and lineup changes, citing personal reasons. Soon after, it was announced that original drummer Mike Van Dyne would return (although due to career commitments, his ability to tour with the band may be limited).
Starve for the Devil (2009-2011)
In July, 2009, it was announced that work was ongoing for their next record, Starve for the Devil
. In September, recording sessions began with Nathaniel Carter performing bass and production being handled again by Chris "Zeuss" Harris. The record was released on February 9, 2010, and went on to land at No. 13 on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart for selling 1,800 copies in the U.S. during its first week of release.In October and November, 2009, Arsis toured Europe with Behemoth, DevilDriver, and Scar Symmetry on the Neckbreakers Ball Tour.In January, 2010, Arsis released a music video for "Forced to Rock", the first track off Starve for the Devil
.In January and February, 2010, Arsis toured the U.S. and Canada with Arch Enemy, Exodus, and Mutiny Within on the Tyrants of Evil North American Tour.On March 6, 2010, Arsis performed at the Eye Scream Metal Fest II in Mexico City (the band's first ever performance in Latin America) with Sacred Reich, Cynic, Municipal Waste, and Dying Fetus. This festival, the Tyrants of Evil Tour, and the Neckbreakers Ball Tour are the only times the full Starve for the Devil
recording lineup performed live.On May 13, 2010, Noah Martin rejoined the band, despite staying enrolled in college, following the departure of Nathaniel Carter.In November, 2010, the lineup of Malone, Cordle, Martin, and Van Dyne toured Europe extensively with Misery Index, Grave, The Last Felony, and The Rotted, followed by a U.S. headlining tour in December with Powerglove and Conducting from the Grave. During their headlining dates, Arsis performed the 12+ minute track "A Diamond for Disease" in its entirety for the first time ever.On August 9, 2011, a remastered version of Arsis' debut album A Celebration of Guilt
was released via Willowtip Records.
News of demos and samples of a new full length record starting pouring out in early 2012. Not long after, however, guitarist Nick Cordle left the band to join Arch Enemy. Shortly after that, longtime drummer and founding member Mike Van Dyne departed Arsis to concentrate on his career full-time.On March 13, 2012 Arsis released a demo song entitled "Choking on Sand" featuring James Malone on all guitars and vocals and Noah Martin on bass.On April 6, Arsis announced Shawn Priest as Mike Van Dyne's replacement and reposted the demo song "Choking on Sand" with Shawn on the recording.Tracking for the as-of-then still untitled full length record produced by Mark Lewis began on June 4. Raw video footage from the recording sessions was posted by the band on Facebook on July 19.On July 27, 2012 the album art and title for Unwelcome
were made public.On December 4, 2012 Arsis released an EP entitled Lepers Caress
preceding the release of Unwelcome
containing new songs that would be on the full-length record as well as some re-recordings of from their earlier catalog.On April 30, 2013, Arsis released Unwelcome