There have been some masterful records released this year, especially in the last few months. Mastodon, Lamb of God, Dillinger Escape Plan…but, with all due respect to the music on those discs, I may be listening to the album of the year. Imagine Devolved, Strapping Young Lad and Zyklon in one shattering experience. That, my friends, is the The Amenta. Blistering speed, moody soundscapes, orchestral grandeur, apocalyptic vocals and outstanding production. This CD has it all.
The guitars have a great, post black wall of sound production that envelopes the music as much as creates it. The rhythm section is precise to the point of machination, driving blasting staccato beats over moderately quick melodies. The keys and programming, instead of detracting from or destroying the music actually play an important role in defining the mood of the album, complimenting and even lifting the compositions into a different sphere of death metal.
The singer holds firmly to a roar, monotone and vast, keeping things grounded firmly in the death metal sector, but allows the music to wander wherever it needs to as the band describes hell to you. And that is what is most impressive here. The songwriting and inventive recording style create a very modern and relevant feel for this album, taking it places death metal has gone before, but never in such a focused and relentless way. It’s almost like Pink Floyd’s Animals album in this regard. You move WITH this record, on this journey, instead of simply through it. It takes your mind through nightmare after nightmare, and you feel INVOLVED.
The production does nothing to spoil this trip. Crisp, epic and powerful, the sound is of total envelopment in a musical vision. It can take away breath or inspire chills. This a record you listen to with headphones – the best you can get. Even at work, with my mind on autopilot as I compute away, my imagination is riding over blasted landscapes, fiery pits and tortured vistas of black and gold and smoke and death. That, my friends, is a fucking trick.
Buy this. Find it, order it, demand it. Play it for your metalhead friends and make them buy it. Play it for your non metalhead friends and beat them when they complain. It should garner a place of honor in your collection. This is a truly great record.