The Amenta - Occasus
Listenable Records
Extreme Avantgarde Metal
10 songs (41'58")
Release year: 2004
The Amenta, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Alex

Recently I had to go to my graduate education stomping grounds for an annual alumni meeting. Younger students who took our places at the U always have presence at these as well. After the bulk of the proper scientific discussions was over, I stuck around to chat with the guys and girls about the lighter side of life. An issue of music eventually came up, as well as the extreme music. The younger generation, poor misguided people, were all raving about the new Manson CD about to come out. My laments about how much better than that the kids can do were left unanswered. After I got home I figured I would urge them to get a copy of The Amenta Occasus, see if it would change their minds. Here is one band that walks the walk while talking the talk. Not only living their image this band delivers strong extreme music as well.

And what an image it is. Promo proclamations like “An Abrasive Soundtrack for an Era of Decay” and “A New Age in Extremism”. Neck to heels all black leathery plastic trenchcoats. A touch of makeup and faces that I can only characterize as four Shagraths meeting one Nick Barker. Dimmu Borgir comparisons not being entirely irrelevant, enough about the “talk”. Let me attempt and describe the “walk” The Amenta takes us on.

It is quite difficult to characterize the style these Australians play in one word, so I am actually quite proud of the “extreme avant-garde metal” tag I have created. Death, black, atmospheric and even the touch of industrial are rolled into one on Occasus. The band combines sickeningly fast rhythmic section, discernible husky, but not screechy, vocals and towering electronic atmospheres so pervasive in black metal. As I said, Dimmu Borgir comparisons are relevant, but I would say The Amenta is quite more brutal. It creeps into Myrkskog and Zyklon territory, although the songs on Occasus do not have the immediate grabbing power of Aeon. The band is mostly dripping with brutality of faster than machine gun riffs, but can all of sudden switch to being symphonic and grandiose as in the intro to Nihil. Synth lines build up both tension and melancholy as if these were Matrix heroes crying over the future of the decaying mankind. The combination of such viciousness and atmosphere make songs on Occasus sound very apocalyptic. Another band I can draw comparisons with is Finnish …And Oceans without the techno. Some of the tracks (Mictlan, Sangre) have quiet serene parts, while two instrumentals (Senium, title track) are bordering on dark noise (which really was not my favorite part of the album).

Neither the promo nor the website lists the names of band members. I guess, just like the song titles, they would like to keep the mystique going. However, the players in The Amenta are solid. Their drummer, although no Trym, has unbelievable dexterity in his ankles and wrists pounding such brutal rhythms. With rhythm section being so much upfront and atmospheres provided by the synth, guitar takes a few listens to be appreciated. Songs like Geilt showcase a progressive edge which in such setting brings the unnerving and scary emotion to the music. Undoubtedly of the extreme variety, the vocals on Occasus are not excessively growled, and definitely not shrieked. Surprisingly, they are of the “warmer” death variety. Not being a huge fan of the processed vocals they sound OK on Occasus, wherever they make appearance, due to the overall futuristic atmosphere.

The Land Down Under can be proud of The Amenta. Occasus is well done, out of the ordinary, brutal extreme metal. I guess that tag “A New Age in Extremism” was right after all.

Killing Songs :
Mictlan, Nihil, Geilt, Sangre
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by The Amenta that we have reviewed:
The Amenta - Flesh is Heir reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
The Amenta - Chokehold (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
The Amenta - n0n reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
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