|Review: The Amenta - Occasus|
Label: Listenable Records
Year released: 2004
Review online: October 15, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
If today's Dimmu Borgir didn't suck so much, maybe they'd sound like The Amenta (the look is somewhat similar, however, judging by the band photo.) This band hails from Australia and is reputedly hard to describe and categorise, with its main influences drawn from death and black metal and even some industrial and electronic effects on the side. Some have just settled on "extreme metal", personally I think it's essentially Black/Death even though there's more going on here, which incidentally isn't always a good thing. There's lots of use of the keyboards, but in a tasteful, non-annoying and definitely not overwhelming way (Dimmu might want to take note here...) They do their job of completing the music rather than screwing it up. Even the industrial and electronics effects aren't as annoying as they usually are - that's one going point for The Amenta who manage to keep the real musical instruments in control of their songs, rather than abdicate everything to the "gimmicks" like so many bands that shall remain nameless (but are unfortunately still around. ;)) Dimmu Borgir without the gimmicks and Zyklon are the first two bands that sprang to mind when I first listened to this album. The music is blazingly fast, Zyklon-style abrasive, and the vocals are a bit similar although I prefer The Amenta's approach of a nearly-understandable growl. Worthy of mention, the drumming is insane at times, I'd be curious to see this performed live. The sound is clean but crunchy enough to give the music some teeth - good production that doesn't sound sterile.
If mid-era Emperor, some crap-free Dimmu as well as Zyklon are things that you're into, then chances are you'll find something you like here. It's no secret that I don't like electronics in metal but the band uses it in such an effective way that it's not annoying at all, and I wish more bands who insist on using such effects would take that as an example. Yet another good Aussie band. Recommended.
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