Luck of the Arsis



OK, I'll be the first to admit that I didn't know Arsis from a hole in the ground.

So when I found out that the Virginia-based death metal band has just been booked to play the Black Sheep on Dec. 17, I naturally paid a visit to its MySpace page. Not surprisingly, it's your basic assemblage of necromantic imagery: decaying skeletons, decrepit clocktowers, disembodied eyes, and Domino's hand-tossed pizza with two toppings for just $5.99 each.

You've really got to hand it to MySpace for accomplishing the impossible. They've taken what was once the clumsiest, ugliest mega-denizen of the world wide web and, thanks to a much publicized revamp, managed to make it that much clumsier and uglier.

But did they really need to shove a pizza ad right up the middle of Arsis' elaborately gothic layout?

Then it was over to YouTube to check out the video for "Forced to Rock," a single from the latest Arsis album, Starve for the Devil, on Nuclear Blast Records. A loving tribute to '80s hair bands, the video is awash with Flying V guitars, a dominatrix schoolteacher and, when I watched it, an eye-catching ad for Fanta soda across the bottom third of the screen.

I dunno. Maybe this whole devil thing is bringing them bad luck.

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