By now we among the death metal crowd know for one how incredible Arsis first couple releases (A Celebration of Guilt and United in Regret) were and still are. We also know how not so good the next couple (We are the Nightmare and Starve for the Devil) were. Well let me tell you what, "Unwelcome" I believe is what we Arsis fans have long waited for. It seems as if James Malone has finally come back to his old ways of style and a virtuoso shredder to come with it. Which he usually does, but dare I say new comer Brandon Ellis is as good if not better than Malone? GASP!

Returning to old would be misleading for me to say. As "Unwelcome" is the closest to their eldest material, it also brings many other elements from past albums as well as new influences. The melodic and catchy hooks are still there in full force and can be considered pretty 80's at times, but that's not a bad thing. Plenty of bands borrowed a slight glam sound over the years. If anything much of the melody on "Unwelcome" reminds me of Arch Enemy-Stigmata/Burning Bridges era.

Now let me be a guitar nerd for a second and talk about this Brandon Ellis chap. He's better than you, me and maybe Malone (maybe). I mean I expect any fan of technical death metal to eat over the top solos up, but god damn there's a whole lotta serious shred going on. Whether it's the little tails at the ends of riffs or long solo sections including trade offs, this is one of the better shred albums I've heard in a while. Especially since the leads aren't only hard to play but memorable and tasteful. Oh BTW Ellis is 21 years old, but don't feel too disheartened.

Despite everything I just said, whether it be from a fan standpoint or musician standpoint this album is fun as hell. The pace and flow go by so quick because the listen is that damn good. I can see any fan of metal overall, not just death metal having "Unwelcome" in heavy rotation. Even the "Sunglasses at Night" cover is excellent, so don't be lame and use that as an excuse. Check out this album and bang your head off.