Arsis is an American death metal band from Virginia Beach, Virginia, formed in 2000. Although remaining as heavy as traditional death metal bands, they also possess complex riffs and solos that are similar to those found in both melodic and technical death metal. The band is currently signed to Nuclear Blast.
Arsis was started by James Malone and Mike Van Dyne in 2000, who met while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. They recorded two demos independently in 2001 and 2002, signed to Willowtip Records in 2003, and released two full-length albums and an EP from 2004 to 2006. During this time, Arsis performed on their first national tours alongside Misery Index, Incantation, Necrophagist, Neuraxis, Alarum, Dead to Fall, Misery Signals, The Faceless, All Shall Perish, Napalm Death and A Life Once Lost.
The band’s main composer, singer/guitarist/songwriter James Malone, wrote and performed all the guitar, vocal, and bass work on the first studio album “A Celebration of Guilt” as well as the follow-up “A Diamond For Disease”. He has cited King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Racer X, Iron Maiden, Emperor, Queensrÿche, Death, Dimmu Borgir and Dissection as being influential to him.
Mike Van Dyne performed drums on all of Arsis’ releases/tours up until early 2007, when he temporarily departed to complete his degree in the medical field. During his hiatus from Arsis, Van Dyne performed briefly with the hardcore outfit Crimson Mask. In 2008, they released a 2-song digital single and performed shows in upstate N.Y.