Artas – Riotology

I’m willing to bet most people have never heard of Artas; I know I hadn’t before receiving this album to review. And I know a lot of metal bands. So I must say I was very pleasantly surprised when I turned it on and gave it a listen. I first listened to it in the car earlier this week and it pumped me up so much that I may have been guilty of driving at a slightly, um, shall we say excessive rate of speed? I always get really excited when I hear a band that is new to me that just blows me away on the first listen. This time just happened to be while driving an automobile. They should put warnings on this album: Caution while operating a motor vehicle, may cause maniacal driving behavior. LOL, ok maybe not. But I was pretty excited.

Artas hail from Austria, the land of my favorite movie action hero. Apparently after a pretty small number of shows they came to the attention of Napalm Records who snapped them up and set them to recording their first album, “The Healing”. (Note to self, get a copy.) So here we are several years later and they have released their second album titled “Riotology”.

I’m really not sure what sort of label I could attach to their music. I’ve tried sticking a few on there and they just fall to the floor like discarded post-it notes, so I’ll just have to call this a mongrel of heavy metal music. If you want a better description of the music itself I recommend heading over to their MySpace page and giving it a listen. But I don’t think listening to just one track is going to give you an accurate gauge on who they are and what they sound like.

I never thought to use this word in a review, but I am flabbergasted that I’ve not heard of this album in a larger context. What are you people listening to out there that an album this great is not receiving major attention? Seriously, it would be a crime against metal itself not to give this album its due. What I would give for more bands that sound like this one. Seems like whenever I think metal is starting to get stale someone like Artas comes along and freshens up the room. You really must hear this.

Three of the tracks on “Riotology” are not sung in English. Well of course there is German, which makes sense. But they also do a track in Spanish and one in French (I had to look that up since I don’t speak any of those languages.) Multi-lingual they are. With thirteen other songs in English it didn’t faze me at all to have several songs in other languages. In fact, “Rassenhass” the track in German sounded pretty cool, whatever he was saying. I think German is probably well suited for metal music lol.

So get out there and spread the word about Artas. I want these guys to get some recognition on the metal scene. Based on this album I really do think they deserve it.