Top Five Must-See Shows in Metro Phoenix This Weekend
San Fernando Valley-based heavy metal act Aristeia is all about grandeur -- and the band doesn't try to hide it. On 2011's Era of the Omnipotent, the quartet juxtaposes guttural screams against high-pitched ones (don't worry, you won't find any angular-haired boys singing pretty here), but the group sounds best when opening up to explore widescreen vistas.
Second track "Anamnesis" has lots of deathcore, claustrophobia-writhing-in-a-tiny-space angst but truly connects well past the three-minute mark, when Hugo Vasquez and Tyler Lozano show off atmospheric, gauzy soundscapes and spiraling prog-rock histrionics. Certainly, the polyrhythmic breakdowns of the title track (on which vocalist Jordan "Kirby" Ibarra growls about society and stuff) will serve the purposes of those coming to mosh, but the instrumental closing track, "Green Dream," aims for the moon, thrashing between crunchy double-bass drum smash sections and Joe Satriani/Steve Vai fretboard excursions. That Aristeia sounds as much like Surfing with the Alien as The Red Chord speaks to the band's future Guitar World status. -- Jason P. Woodbury