|Review: Amoral - Wound Creations|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: October 1, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
It must be very difficult nowadays for relatively new Scandinavian bands who are playing melodic death metal to stand out, what with it being such a massive breeding ground for the style. Unfortunately, it was destined to produce a multitude of 'poor mans' copies of the 'classic' bands from the early 90's over the past ten years or so, so much so that it threatened to become a pale, watered-down pastiche of its former self.
Fortuitously for Amoral however, they do have that certain something that makes them stand head and shoulders above the rest in the quagmire of the scene. Listening to this, their debut album, you would swear it was a lost classic from a bunch of greasy teenage Swedes in the 90's, had it not been for the first-rate production and classy musicianship. The album starts off with an instrumental 'The Verge', which has a nice crunchy sounding riff that ambles gradually into a crescendo, segueing nicely into 'Atrocity Evolution', which tears out of the speakers in classic Scandinavian death style. From this moment, it pretty much sets the scene for the rest of the album. In no way can you call Amoral a carbon copy of any of the classic bands (See Entombed, Dismember etc), as they bring their own approach to the genre in the way of odd riff structuring, twin guitar, stuttering staccato melodies and full on heads down heavy thrashy riffing.
Not relying solely on chords for riffs, they instead link harmonious speedy passages and licks to make up the groundwork for the song arrangements, with the killer double bass drum work holding it all together nicely. There are some truly excellent blasting sections on this album too, though they are not quite fierce enough to lump the band with the 'brutal death' tag in my estimation, as a shard of melodic guitar work is seldom far away.
The track 'Other Flesh' stands out as a masterful piece of work, amazingly woven harmonies thump into pure Scandinavian death with the exact amount of each to make you keep revisiting the album again and again. Strangely however, the final two tracks of the album are relatively different to what came before, coming across like Katatonia circa their 'Brave Murder Day' era. They're still excellent tracks though, simply providing further evidence to me that they are certainly not a one trick pony, and have quite a variety of influences which they wear proudly on their sleeves. Definitely one to pick up.
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