The Amenta – Non Review

Originally written by Sasha Horn

Four years, three countries, seven recording studios, two drummers, six vocalists, and two bass players. This is n0n‘s manifest, and it’s enough cargo to destroy a world, twice. I’m a bit biased in that I so sickeningly enjoyed the sci-fi blasterpiece in2004’s Occasus, that I’m afraid it’s created quite a diversion from anything that comes next. But it has been four years, so if the formula must be fucked with, really fuck it up man. Confuse me. Fry the circuitry. Plug things into places they’re not supposed to go. Just don’t let happen, what happened: n0n attempted to smash to smithereens that which has already been pancaked to hell.

Translated, this means not as effective. Killing something already dead is not gonna have quite the same impact. n0n is a straighter and bleaker hopelessness, doing away with the deathly charm that I found so infectious previously. I measure “charm” as the distance between frets, or the space between hits; how an instrument is utilized. Or maybe it’s just the distance between these current members and the Occasus-era ex-members that are currently members of Psycroptic (and if you’ve listened to the new Psycroptic, you might be able to hear that distance between). Whatever the case, most of n0n is just punch, pummel, pulverize. Dissonant chunk after dissonant chunk; kings of a couple of strings. A flurry of kicks meets a flurry of snares. Sometimes back to back, sometimes right on top of each other. The equation here is simplified to a point where the listener can guess anybody’s next move, and in doing so The Amenta sounds like an INDUSTRIAL death metal band this year (whereas the former half of this decade was owned by their industrial DEATH METAL). There’s no compassion. No flirting. No foreplay. No help from this vacuous production. Just straight procreation. More glitches. More static. Uninspired theatrics electronically whiplashing their way through the cracks in these fifty minutes.

However, I do not miss their fire, because it can’t be missed, because it’s still there peering through their cabaret. I can hear the salivating of the entire battalion that it took to get this thing done, and it’s a genuine hunger. I can hear it in the champion opening riff of “Slave”. I can hear it in the widened melody of “Spine,” before it’s catastrophic closure. I can hear it inside of the wave of mutilation that is “Dirt”. I do miss the girth and heavier phlegm-removal of their previous vocalist, I do miss the surprise attack of their drummer-no-more, and I do obviously miss the black magic of these three songs having infected the other nine, but what I do not miss is the point. And when the time is right I can still fully appreciate this new colorless embodiment, even though many more times than not I’ll take the horror in the blood-red of their debut.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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