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Opera Diabolicus - 1614

Opera Diabolicus - 1614 (2012)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Phantom Winter - Her Cold Materials

Phantom Winter - Her Cold Materials (2023)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
:NODFYR: - Eigenheid

:NODFYR: - Eigenheid (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Nomadic Rituals - Tides

Nomadic Rituals - Tides (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Nomadic Rituals - Marking the Day

Nomadic Rituals - Marking the Day (2017)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Mordred - The Dark Parade

Mordred - The Dark Parade (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Solence - Hope Is a Cult

Solence - Hope Is a Cult (2023)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Solence - Deafening

Solence - Deafening (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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Solence - Brothers

Solence - Brothers (2019)

Added: July 14, 2024
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Solence - Direction

Solence - Direction (2020)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Visions of Atlantis - Pirates II: Armada

Visions of Atlantis - Pirates II: Armada (2024)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Visions of Atlantis - Pirates Over Wacken

Visions of Atlantis - Pirates Over Wacken (2023)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Axel Rudi Pell - Risen Symbol

Axel Rudi Pell - Risen Symbol (2024)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Axel Rudi Pell - The Ballads VI

Axel Rudi Pell - The Ballads VI (2023)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Orden Ogan - The Order of Fear

Orden Ogan - The Order of Fear (2024)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Wombbath - Agma

Wombbath - Agma (2021)

Added: July 09, 2024
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Wombbath - Tales of Madness

Wombbath - Tales of Madness (2020)

Added: July 09, 2024
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Wombbath - The Weight of Reality

Wombbath - The Weight of Reality (2022)

Added: July 09, 2024
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Gerogot - Heading to Eternal

Gerogot - Heading to Eternal (2021)

Added: July 09, 2024
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0.0
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Gerogot - Cruelty Vomit of Hatred

Gerogot - Cruelty Vomit of Hatred (2016)

Added: July 09, 2024
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Berried Alive - Berried Treasure

Berried Alive - Berried Treasure (2023)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Berried Alive - Our Own Light

Berried Alive - Our Own Light (2022)

Added: July 14, 2024
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Berried Alive - The Mixgrape

Berried Alive - The Mixgrape (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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Berried Alive - Fuego

Berried Alive - Fuego (2020)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Berried Alive - Bearies Alive

Berried Alive - Bearies Alive (2018)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Countess - Banners of Blood

Countess - Banners of Blood (2021)

Added: July 15, 2024
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Countess - Live by the Sword

Countess - Live by the Sword (2023)

Added: July 15, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
:NODFYR: - Eigenheid

:NODFYR: - Eigenheid (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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:NODFYR: - In een andere tijd

:NODFYR: - In een andere tijd (2017)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Cold Cell - The Greater Evil

Cold Cell - The Greater Evil (2021)

Added: July 10, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Mordred - The Dark Parade

Mordred - The Dark Parade (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Wraith - Fueled by Fear

Wraith - Fueled by Fear (2024)

Added: July 10, 2024
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0.0
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Killing - Face the Madness

Killing - Face the Madness (2021)

Added: July 10, 2024
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0.0
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Killing - Toxic Asylum

Killing - Toxic Asylum (2018)

Added: July 10, 2024
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0.0
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Cryptosis - The Silent Call

Cryptosis - The Silent Call (2023)

Added: July 09, 2024
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0.0
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Graphic Nature - Who Are You When No One Is Watching?

Graphic Nature - Who Are You When No One Is Watching? (2024)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Berried Alive - Berried Treasure

Berried Alive - Berried Treasure (2023)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Berried Alive - The Mixgrape

Berried Alive - The Mixgrape (2021)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Berried Alive - Fuego

Berried Alive - Fuego (2020)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Berried Alive - Fools Gold

Berried Alive - Fools Gold (2017)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Lord of the Lost - Weapons of Mass Seduction

Lord of the Lost - Weapons of Mass Seduction (2023)

Added: July 14, 2024
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0.0
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Illidiance - The Iconoclast

Illidiance - The Iconoclast (2019)

Added: July 10, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Illidiance - Live Album 2021

Illidiance - Live Album 2021 (2021)

Added: July 10, 2024
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No Oath - Liminal_

No Oath - Liminal_ (2021)

Added: July 09, 2024
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Gothminister - Pandemonium II - The Battle of the Underworlds

Gothminister - Pandemonium II - The Battle of the Underworlds (2024)

Added: June 27, 2024
Ratings: 1
Reviews: 1
Site Rating
4.5
Clan Rating
4.5

Clans

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Members: 61

Releases: 2485

The Guardians
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Members: 160

Releases: 8930

The Horde
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Members: 205

Releases: 11152

The Infinite
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Members: 125

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The Sphere
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Schizophrenia

I have to admit that the trend to re-record previously released material with modern-day technology is not one that I'm particularly fond of. Rarely does it see the desired results being achieved by bringing something fresh & different to an album that's generally already got its own loyal following so the idea of the Cavalera brothers having another crack at Sepultura's highly regarded 1987 sophomore album "Schizophrenia" wasn't one that immediately filled me with anticipation. Their recent re-recordings of Sepultura's more primitive earlier releases "Bestial Devastation" & "Morbid Visions" had certainly been reasonably successful but "Schizophrenia" was a much more sophisticated record & I struggled to see a reason to want to give it a new coat of paint when the old one was still in pretty good nick. You see, I've always been a big fan of the original version of "Schizophrenia". I picked it up on cassette when I was still a youngster, shortly after becoming completely infatuated with Sepultura's classic 1989 "Beneath the Remains" album. It was an immediate hit in my household & has received many revisits over the years so I can't say that I wasn't pleased that Ben gave me a reason to investigate the revitalized version by nominating it as this month's "The Pit" clan feature release. I just wasn't expecting to be wowed in the process.

The band that the Cavalera brothers assembled for the task is a little different to the one they went with for their previous re-recorded efforts. Max's son Igor Cavalera Jr. (Go Ahead & Die) is still there on bass guitar but the lead guitar slot that was previously being filled by Gruesome/Possessed/Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû axeman Daniel Gonzalez is now being owned by Igor Jr.'s former Healing Magic & Lody Kong bandmate Travis Stone (Noisem/Pig Destroyer) on this occasion. I have to say that I haven't been majorly impressed with Stone's work here though as he lacks the polish of the very capable Andreas Kisser which leaves the guitar solos seeming like less of an emphatic statement than they were on the original.

So... how is the production job that is largely the reason for conducting this exercise in the first place then? Weeeellll... it certainly sounds a lot cleaner, brighter & more in your face than the original did but it's not without its issues either. The drenching of Max's vocals & Igor's toms in reverb was a strange decision & does tend to annoy me a little if I'm being honest. I'd suggest that Max's vocals simply aren't as strong any more so the decision was made to hide his deficiencies a little through studio trickery but it hasn't really worked because it's still as plain as day if you ask me & I much prefer his gruntier contribution on the original version. That's not to say that I get nothing out of this glossier model though because that's not the reality at all. As most people will probably do as some point, I decided to whack on the 1987 version immediately after my third spin of the revamped one in order to see the differences & they were far more stark than I realised previously. In fact, the original version sounds a lot like a demo recording in that context & I was surprised by just how deficient it appeared to be in retrospect because I've never had too much of a problem with it in the past. Perhaps there was a good reason that Cavalera's decided to give another crack after all then.

The tracklisting is unsurprisingly impeccable with no weak numbers being included. Opener "From the Past Comes the Storms" is still my pick of the bunch but I feel that the lengthy instrumental "Inquisition Symphony" also really shines here & gives it a run for its money. "To The Wall", "Escape to the Void" & "Septic Schizo" are perhaps not quite as classic in this environment as I remember them being back in the day which is interesting. The two intros/interludes have been recreated in slightly different forms but I wouldn't say that either are as effective as they once were so perhaps they would have been off simply remastering the originals. The inclusion of an Igor Jr. penned new original in "Nightmares of Delirium" is probably the most significant point of interest here but I'd suggest that it's also the weaker of the proper metal songs on offer, even if it's still worth a few listens. So overall we have more losses than wins but it's nothing drastic as the album is still highly entertaining, mainly because "Schizophrenia" is a total riff-fest & nothing has changed there.

Was it really worth the effort to re-record this old classic? Perhaps. I mean it certainly contains more energy & vitality than the original mix did but I'd have to argue that I still enjoy the 1987 version a little more. I can't deny that I had a good ol' headbang to this one on the way to & from work on Friday though as this is some pretty premium thrash metal after all. It's probably not terribly essential if you already own a copy of Sepultura's version from back in the day though. Let sleeping dogs lie I say. So, why have I awarded the release such a good score you may ask? Well, I choose to treat every release on its own merit when creating reviews & this is still a fine example of South American thrash in my opinion so it'd be inaccurate for me to suggest otherwise with a reduced rating simply because I like it a touch less than Sepultura's version.

For fans of Sepultura, Slayer & Sodom.

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Daniel Daniel / July 14, 2024 07:26 PM
Revelator

With industrial metal being one of the least listened to sub-genres for me, this month’s feature release risked passing me by like most others often do. Two things drew me to Revelator in the end. Firstly, the strange looking album artwork. Secondly, Daniel’s high praise for the band (borne out in his excellent review). Now, clearly, I have no reference point for Revelator in terms of a comparison to other The Amenta releases and as such, I can judge it solely on its merits as a standalone release. After several listens, I am not totally sold on it still but that is not to say that this about to open into a negative review, more that I have a lot learn still about this record.

Since my first listen through to the album, I have been unable to get Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise by Emperor out of my head. The cleaner vocals remind me so much of that record that I had to play it again to make sure I was not making it up. Stylistically, two different sub-genres, yet (having listened through the Emperor album in piecing this review together), some definite comparators beyond even the vocals. Revelator is an explosive album. One of those that is seemingly written with eruptions of power that blast through more tempered sections. Add this sense of density in terms of the layers to each record and my early comparison holds some firm standings.

Given I have an odd affiliation with that Emperor album, I have found that my enjoyment of Revelator has grown very easily. The progressive elements to the Australians 2021 release help the record play as almost a macabre celebration of metal music when you get the occasional bit of death metal thrown in for good measure and even some ambient work to boot. I do need more time with the more post-metal moments and do find the flow of the album interrupted by this.

However, The Amenta are clearly talented guys and the musicianship here is top notch. This is not very industrial sounding to me (saying that as an already declared irregular listener to this sub-genre) and has a lot more depth to it than I first expected, clearly therefore having been written by some mature artists. I find it theatrical and challenging at the same time as being a record that can appeal to my more primitive metal needs very easily. It is a solid discovery that has helped me rediscover an old favourite also.


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UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / July 14, 2024 09:33 AM
The Blossoming

It's great to see a young band growing with each release & that's exactly what we've seen with French progressive black metallers Æthĕrĭa Conscĭentĭa. I struggled to get into their 2018 debut album "Tales From Hydhradh" when I first came across the band however their 2021 follow-up "Corrupted Pillars of Vanity" showed promise & we're now seeing that promise coming to fruition with their latest release "The Blossoming" which is a genuinely intriguing listen. Æthĕrĭa Conscĭentĭa's black metal roots would appear to be almost secondary concern at this point & it wouldn't surprise me if they were done away with altogether in the quest for ever more unique musical explorations in the future. Their modern sound uses black metal more as a platform for them to experiment over in some fairly unusual ways although I would say that they ever quite dive into the waters of the truly avant-garde on "The Blossoming", potentially only because of just how well they've integrated the experimental components into their arrangements which leaves the quirkier components still sounding reasonably fluid. The use of saxophone is beautifully executed & brings to mind fellow experimental black metallers White Ward. Not all of it works so well but the failures are comfortably outweighed by the successes.

It's worth noting that "The Blossoming" does have an unusual characteristic in that I feel all three of the tracks on the A side are noticeably weaker than those on the B side which is where the real meat is located. This has a tendency to leave an initial impression that isn't exactly accurate of the release as a whole & it took me a couple of listens to realise that this was a more significant outing than "Corrupted Pillars of Vanity" was. The track that most grabbed me was also the one that contained the least black metal in "Daimu Kadasdra Ko Antall" which utilizes psychedelic bongos & gothic atmospherics that bring to mind Tiamat's classic "Wildhoney" album to create a beautifully lush soundscape. "Endless Cycle" & the title track (particularly the second half of it) are the pick of the black metal-based material.

This sort of release is often a little too weird for me to score as highly as I have here but Æthĕrĭa Conscĭentĭa have managed to pull it off with a professionalism & maturity that I've been unable to resist. I wouldn't suggest that this is a record for black metal fans only either as there's a lot more to it than that, even in the extreme metal sections. The album contains a few doomier sections that make up some of the more effective parts of the record while the vocals aren't exactly your typical black metal shriek either, often veering off into deeper territories usually traversed only by the death metal brigade. If I could provide any advice to the band, I'd suggest that they focus a little more on the psychedelic angles that I enjoy so much but that's probably just a reflection of my personal taste as "The Blossoming" is still a very solid release in its own right.

For fans of Alchemist, White Ward & Pan.Thy.Monium.

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Daniel Daniel / July 13, 2024 09:30 PM
The Blossoming

Discovery is a wonderful thing. Ætheria Conscientia are a black metal band that I have seen pop in to my recommended feed (if only briefly) back in 2021 for Corrupted Pillars of Vanity and became a group that I would keep tabs on, even if I found the music to be far too patchy. And this came along solely based on the name of the group. Like with Ne Obliviscaris over ten years ago, Ætheria Conscientia was a name that would be impossible to forget and would be in eager anticipation of their next move.

Now this is coming from the assumption that their foundational progressive/avant-garde metal roots would result in growth and development of a very unique atmospheric black metal sound. And with The Blossoming, I can see the huge strides taking place from the inside to create a more streamlined, accessible, and overall more enjoyable album.

Corrupted Pillars of Vanity is a daunting listen with just five tracks, but a runtime that approaches one hour. The Blossoming by comparison is six tracks and runs at a relatively brisk forty-five minutes. While that might seem like a minor issue, what stands out is that Ætheria Conscientia never sound like they are still performing after all the concert goers have left. Each song (most notably the longer tracks like "Astral Choir" and "Endless Cycle") are cohesive and tell a fully developed story through the instrumentals and lyrical themes. I enjoy how this band is able to sound as dense as they do, while still caring for the listeners time and money; it's a record that gives its listeners all of its necessary information and then lets you decide what it all means, all while not rambling.

And that's important because the compositions are carrying a lot of weight. For a black metal album, The Blossoming is pretty light when it comes to traditional black metal motifs. Tremolo picking guitars are frequently substituted for open power chords, percussion rarely sticks to a rhythmic blast beat foundation, and the vocals are extremely varied in their delivery. And that's even before you add the clean guest vocals of Lisieux on this albums bookend tracks and the ALWAYS sultry saxophone leads that regularly appear throughout the project. This horn in particular is performed with a very similar timbre as those found on Rivers of Nihil's Where Owls Know My Name, which just so happened to be one of the only consistently good pieces of that record!

For a record that is as progressive/avant-garde as The Blossoming sounds, it's quite a shame that it did not axe out many of the black metal production tropes, such as a lackluster bass line, and filtered down vocals. The bass lines are inexcusable at this point; while the guitars are quite pleasant and the open power chords give The Blossoming a sense of wideness, it would me more beneficial for the bass to be closer to the front and allow for the guitars a little bit more breathing room to be experimental instead of playing foundations. As for the vocals, I don't think that hiding the vocalist in the back of the room like this was the most viable solution. After all, The Blossoming is not you're run-of-the-mill black metal album in its lyrical content and themes. This space opera is very surreal and could use a more present narrator to show the listener its folklore and mythology.

Ætheria Conscientia reinvented themselves on The Blossoming and they succeeded in many different ways. Besides the obvious, this record has a feeling of humanity in it that has not been felt in a lot of extreme metal recently. It pulls from Ihsahn, Rivers of Nihil, and Kayo Dot in its ambitiousness and pulls of the best in all of them. Best of all, the record never feels like its meandering or runs out of things to say before its conclusion. I kind of expected the album to end a bit more emphatically, but I think that's part of its appeal and avant-garde texture. 

Best Songs: Haesperadh, Daimu Kadasdra Ko Antall, Endless Cycle

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Saxy S Saxy S / July 12, 2024 08:21 PM
Revelator

For those that haven't been paying attention, I've been pushing underground Australian industrial death metal artist The Amenta pretty hard on the Metal Academy website since our initial inception back in 2019 & don't plan to give up on that task any time soon. Why, you may ask? Well, to put it simply, this Sydney-based outfit has not only been my favourite hometown band for that entire period but are also one of the most incredible examples of an undiscovered gem you'll find in the entire global metal marketplace. In fact, I'm continually astounded at just how underappreciated some of their releases are & I don't think that my long-time relationship with the band has anything to do with me taking that position either. I've been aware of this lot since they began life as local black metallers Crucible of Agony back in 1997, mainly due to the fact that they contained an associate of mine in Lord Kaos/Stone Wings front man Jamie Marsh who I played alongside in Sydney doom/death exponents Elysium at around that time. Fast forward through to 2021 though & you'll find that The Amenta had a completely different look & feel to them. Their style had evolved from black metal to a Morbid Angel-inspired death metal sound before slowly taking on more & more industrial metal elements, each album representing a different stage in their evolution & achieving a very different character to the last. Each of their first three full-length albums were nothing short of classic & I don't say that from a purely patriotic or nostalgic viewpoint either. 2004's "Occasus", 2008's "n0n" & 2013's "Flesh Is Heir" sit amongst my favourite extreme metal releases of all time with only the elite of the elite achieving higher echilons of metal glory. The long gap between releases may well have contributed to the quality of each release but would also seem to have been out of necessity given that the band became more of a national entity over time with the various band members sometimes residing in different states & playing in multiple other metal bands of significance. 2021's "Revelator" fourth album would end the biggest drought in The Amenta's recording career to date though & subsequently drew an enormous amount of anticipation from diehard fans like myself who have been attending the band's blistering live shows for so many years.

2013's "Flesh is Heir" record was a game-changer for me personally. It took all of the various elements that made up The Amenta sound & presented them in a fashion that saw my face being completely melted off & boy did I enjoy it. It would go on to be my Album of the Year & see me shouting its praises from the rooftops online too. The gap to the band's next album left me feeling a little bemused though & when it finally arrived I didn't quite know what to expect. By this time The Amenta had a very different look to the one that recorded a couple of crude black metal demos under their previous moniker back in the late 1990's with only guitarist Erik Miehs remaining from the Crucible of Agony days. Thankfully though, The Amenta had maintained the same lineup that devastated me with "Flesh is Heir" which certainly put them in good stead to achieve similar heights. From the promo shots released at the time, it seemed that the band had opted to push a slightly different image to before which shouldn't really have been a surprise as The Amenta had traditionally put a lot of time & effort into making the visual part of their live performances a unique experience rather than a simple reenactment of their albums. I wasn't sure if that would translate into a drastic change of musical direction or not but any fears I may have harbored were very quickly put to rest by another stunning piece of work.

"Revelator" is a wonderfully produced record that perfectly highlights The Amenta's strengths & talents. The music unceremoniously dives out of the speakers & violently grabs the listener around the throat, although on this occasion the song-writing tends to be more measured in how regularly it tightens its grip. "Revelator" once again sees The Amenta evolving on past glories, this time relying less on death metal savagery & more on the industrial side of their sound. The obvious Godflesh influence that was so apparent on "Flesh is Heir" is nowhere near as relevant this time though with the band taking you to places that you're unlikely to have trodden in the past. You see, "Revelator" is a much more moody & introspective record than we'd heard from The Amenta thus far & it draws from a wider range of influences too. There's a progressive edge to their approach that requires a little more patience but sees them challenging the listener on a more cerebral level too. This is a more mature The Amenta & one that's not afraid the show a little vulnerability rather than simply savaging their audience into a pulp. My ears pick up the influence of a disparate range artists from Mr. Bungle (particularly their deeper & more psychedelic material) to Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad & even a little of that twisted Arcturus sound. Don't get me wrong, "Revelator" can still thrash you to within an inch of your life but it can also lead you into some pretty dark places that will have you peering out of your eye sockets from deeper & deeper within yourself.

The tracklisting begins in the most violent fashion possible with brutal opener "An Epoch Ellipsis" (my personal favourite) being one of the finest examples of industrial death metal you're ever likely to hear. It doesn't really prepare you for the twists & turns you'll face across the remaining eight songs though as the stylist direction changes up regularly, never allowing the listener to become complacent yet still feeling cohesive throughout. The brilliant "Silent Twin" sees The Amenta experimenting with a sound that's more commonly heard on post-metal releases while "Wonderlost" dips its toes into dark ambience to great effect. Apart from "Psoriastasis", the remainder of the album sees The Amenta veering away from pure death metal but losing none of their menace. Legendary drummer Dave Haley's (Abramelin/Psycroptic/Consummation/Ruins/Werewolves/Blood Duster/Pestilence) undeniable talents behind the drum kit are brought to the forefront by a relentless machinegun double kick drum sound that sees him achieving ridiculous tempos with ultimate precision while his blast beats showcase a level of power & control that few can match. Charismatic front man Cain Cressall (Malignant Monster) not only spits out his lyrics with his trademark blackened snarl but also makes a wonderful fist of some very capable clean singing that will no doubt remind you of the impeccable metal royalty that is Mike Patton. I really love this element of the album actually & feel that it's one of the key ingredients in giving "Revelator" its own identity.

From what I can see online, "Revelator" doesn't seem to have received the accolades that some of The Amenta's previous records have & I find that a little hard to understand as this is yet another mind-blowing effort from the band. Perhaps it's simply a reflection of a modern society where young people tend not to give their music as much time as old-schoolers like myself who weren't gifted with music at the click of a button during our formative years. Make no bones about it, "Revelator" is a far less immediate record than The Amenta's earlier works & requires a little commitment to fully understand but that's not a criticism in any way. In fact, it's more of a compliment than anything as those sort of releases tend to benefit from a longer lasting appeal than those that waste little time in exposing their full wares. While I readily admit that it may not top The Amenta's first three classic albums, "Revelator" has once again seen me left dazzled by the sheer class of this wonderful Aussie metal icon, this time with a renewed commitment to creativity.

For fans of The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Red Harvest & Strapping Young Lad.

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Daniel Daniel / July 12, 2024 08:03 PM

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