Piranha – Arise from the Shadows Review
Written by Kevin Tanza on August 21, 2020
Piranha is a very interesting case of the Greek Metal scene because they started back in the mid-80s as one of the first Extreme Metal bands of that country, but they didn’t have any official release until 1992’s Worlds Grave and their first full length album, Reborn, wouldn’t see the light of day until 1998. 22 years later, they decided to come back with their second album, Arise from the Shadows, and we’re here to talk about it!
After a slow intro with some opening riffs that are borderline majestic in the first few seconds of Nuclear Disease, we get a powerful and fast main riff by guitarists Dennis and John (who is also the vocalist) that tears through the whole thing. There is a strong influence of early Sepultura in this album and it is quite clear in this song where the drumming by Andreas is on point and the notorious bass by Gas is another high point for me. It’s quite a straightforward Thrash Metal track, but it definitely shows that the guys of Piranha are back and they haven’t lost a piece of intensity.
Eternal Night has a very interesting stop-start opening riff and then the song kicks off with a lot of intensity. Once again, we can hear the sheer power of the guitar and the drumming, with John channeling his inner Max Cavalera. The chorus seems like something that the Brazilian band would have done in Beneath the Remains and that is always a positive in my book. There is a certain atmosphere in this song, almost falling in the epic department, that fits quite well with it and this song is certainly a high point of the entire Arise from the Shadows album. The instrumental passage shows how talented these Greeks are.
We hear a bit of a musical shift in the third track, Endless Dream, with the band showcasing their most melodic elements, but the drumming is still phenomenal–Andreas is definitely one of the best factors of this entire album. This song has a very strong chorus, which combines the band’s already-established intensity with the melodies that they have put in this track–it’s a combination that feels both natural and exciting for the listener.
Then, we have a slower (but still heavy) song in Reborn, but the band manages to add a bit of groove to it and it goes to show the musicianship that they have–you can tell the years between releases has made them very musically eclectic and it gives this Arise from the Shadows a more unique feeling while listening to it. Gas’ bass is also on point here, having some very interesting lines throughout the whole song. It’s weird to use the word “catchy” when talking about a band that is so focused on Extreme and Thrash Metal, but that’s the word to describe Reborn: a heavy and powerful song that also has strong hooks. The second part of the song leans more into the “epic” territory and it has parts that wouldn’t feel out of place in Bathory’s Viking Metal albums. One of the best songs of the entire album.
It seems that Rotten Mind was done to make a contrast with the melodic and epic elements of Reborn and I personally don’t complain because this degree of variety makes this album magnificent. John and Dennis once again, thrive with the guitar riffs and harmonies throughout the whole song, becoming one of the highlights of this musical effort. There are some female vocals added that give the song an interesting feel, even having some Middle East influences, but maybe that’s just me thinking stuff that are not there.
We go back to the darkness and Sepultura influences with Dead Boat, but this time the band takes its time to build the song up, slowly building momentum and thus allowing the song to breathe before gaining more intensity. It has some interesting guitar work, but it’s not one of my favorite songs of the entire album.
I usually associate the title track with being one of the strongest songs of the album, but I can’t say that for this one in Arise from the Shadows. It has good melodies and the chorus is certainly nice, but I think it lacks the punch and aggressiveness that has defined Piranha throughout their career. Again, that’s just a personal appreciation and you might feel differently while listening to it, but I wouldn’t place it at the same level as the rest of the songs of Arise from the Shadows.
Haze is a strong way to end the album because it shows at their best and at their most intense. The riffs are very good and we can see the most Thrash Metal side of the band. Here is where they thrive and I loved every second of it. Every single band member gives their all and the melodic vocals are a nice change of pace, considering everything we have listened to so far. Definitely one of the best pieces of the entire album.
Arise from the Shadows is definitely a strong comeback album and it had a very complicated task: to please those fans that were familiar with the band and to surprise those that never heard of them. Does it accomplish that? I personally think, yes. It has a very organic feel to it and the songwriting is very solid, with every song bringing something different on the table. The musicianship is quite tight and precise, with them showing their technical abilities to enhance the song and not to be self-indulgent.
A very good Extreme Metal album. Don’t sleep on it, give it a listen and buy it.
You can find the album and the band on the links below: