One of these days I may have to actually buy a Scion vehicle. The debts of gratitude just keep mounting, and I do like to repay my debts. Scion A/V’s latest gift to metalheads is a brand new EP by Arsis named Lepers Caress. It will become available for free download next Tuesday at the Scion A/V web site.
I got wind of this yesterday when a couple of my NCS comrades started talking about a Nov 27 interview of guitarist/vocalist James Malone and bass-player Noah Martin that appeared at Hardrock.RVA. In that interview, Malone said: “You can expect the Scion EP very soon and for Unwelcome to come out early next year. I wouldn’t compare either to Starve… but you will not be let down. This much I can promise.”
Turns out we didn’t have to wait long for confirmation about that EP, because the official announcement came out this morning. The reference to Unwelcome is about the next Arsis full-length, which was written by Malone and Martin and recorded this past August. And in related news, Arsis will be setting out on a Scion-sponsored tour this December, and they’ll be playing new songs from both the EP and Unwelcome.
As for what the new music will sound like, the interview contained this additional preview from Noah Martin, which includes references to previous Arsis releases A Diamond For Disease (2005), We Are the Nightmare (2008), and Starve For the Devil (2010):
“If I had no other choice than to compare it to the older material, I’d say it’s most similar to Diamond and Nightmare. I’ve felt that since Nightmare was being written, the band has tried to capture a natural balance between more involved death metal and streamlined 80s stuff. Perhaps it was that Starve and Nightmare were polar opposites in that respect. On this new release, we certainly utilized more three part-writing than on the previous couple albums.”
Here are those December tour dates; Arsis will be accompanied by Sonata Arctica.
06.12.2012 Gramercy Theatre, New York, NY (USA)
07.12.2012 The Palladium, Worcester, MA (USA)
08.12.2012 The Note, West Chester, PA (USA)
09.12.2012 Empire, Springfield, VA (USA)
11.12.2012 Opera House, Toronto (Canada)
12.12.2012 The Altar Bar, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
13.12.2012 Peabody’s, Cleveland, OH (USA)
14.12.2012 Harpo’s, Detroit, MI (USA) – new
15.12.2012 Mojoes, Joliet, IL (USA)
17.12.2012 Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO (USA)
20.12.2012 Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA (USA)
Even though I’ve really got nothing against Scion as a car company and have enjoyed pretty much all of their EP’s, I still feel weird about the whole situation. There’s nothing obviously wrong with the situation but I still get this weird feeling it’s all a corporate ploy, or I’m just way too jaded.
I’m no longer suspicious, just confused. My instinctive reaction when any large corporation sticks its finger into, well, basically anything, is to be on guard. But although I have great difficulty understanding why Scion thinks what it’s doing will benefit its business, I’ve seen nothing but good come from what it’s doing. This kind of financial support and visibility that it’s giving to metal is a big boon. Plus, whoever’s choosing the bands has got pretty damned good taste.
I was always under the impression that it was a different company that just happened to have the same name. Scion the car company is a division of Toyota. I just can’t imagine a Japanese auto company having their side project releasing metal EPs. But either way, yes, their choices have been awesome. Enslaved’s The Sleeping Gods EP is phenomenal.
Scion is indeed owned by Toyota — the brand they created to try to pick up younger buyers in the North American market. And Scion A/V really is owned by the car company.
I just checked out their website and, yep, there are ads for Scion cars everywhere. Still strikes me as odd, but whatever. Keep the releases coming!