The Amenta: Flesh is Heir

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The Amenta: Flesh is Heir
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The Amenta: Flesh is Heir
Industrial Death Metal
Listenable Records
May 7th, 2013
Release length: 45:35
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Sydney, Australia’s The Amenta have been tearing the faces off of their fans, and anyone who happens to get caught in the crosshairs, since 2002 with their self-released EP, Mictlan. In 2004, the band was picked up by Listenable Records to issue their debut full-length, Occasus, and never let this band go. Nine years, a follow-up, and three EPs later, The Amenta bring us a brand new album titled Flesh is Heir. With high praise for their recent pre-cursor EP, Teeth, one can only hope this album is as strong as that small taste of brutality…

The production is crisp, yet very dark for a Death Metal album. The click of the bass kicks stand out over everything else. The cymbals sound great and pulled closer to the forefront, while the rest of the kit has a deeper thud going on. The guitars feature a similar lower tuning with a rich distortion at work against a loud bass guitar presence that is deep enough to easily be felt. The industrial elements aren’t always too obnoxious in volume, but sometimes they can drown nearly everything else out, and in more chaotic moments really mesh instruments together in an unflattering way. Thankfully, this is actually a rare occurance. Finally there’s the rhaspy shouting vocals that end up just over everything, but on par with the aforementioned bass kicks. In short, this album sounds chaotic, treading into more experimental territory sometimes.

“Flesh is Heir” kicks things off with a mixture of slower shugs with gaps filled by the Industrial elements, and blistering guitars and double bass kicks elsewhere. It’s an intense ride from start to finish that does jump between speeds consistantly to show off the more Avant-Garde approch The Amenta seems to be going with this time around. “The Argument” relies heavily on the Industrial programming during the slower parts, acting as a nice build before the sanity break that erupts immediately after, hammering away with the thunderous bass kicks and pissed off screaming that simply doesn’t last long enough. Some of the shifts can be knee jerking, but it only really gets to be too much about half way through the song when it just happens a lot more often.

While most songs are as chaotic as those, you also get tracks like “Ego Ergo Sum,” which starts with a catchy groove filled Death Metal performance that makes up the main verses. While not as chaotic as “Flesh is Heir,” there’s plenty of energy all around, especially in the vocals. The chorus finds a little melody, largely thanks to the Industrial effects, and it’s handled well with some rougher harmonized vocals that match the somewhat depressing atmosphere the music creates in that spot. “Obliterate’s Prayer” has a mid-tempo approach with some groovey riffs once more, though the chorus is a lot slower, and not quite as melodic, instead consisting of held screams with simpler lyrics.

But, some of the most impressive are actually ambient instrumental pieces. “Womb Tone” creates an eerie atmosphere to go with the present darkness, and when the ringing bells that one might hear on a native american during a ceremonial dance kick in against random effects, you can’t help but feel as though you have been drugged involuntarily. “Cell” does feature some vocals, acting as if voices in your own head due to being more a background addition with heavy distortions and restraint, This one places the focus squarely on the music, and the pieces without the instruments, or just a guitar in the slower passages, brings a cold and unsetteling environment to the forefront that the heavier, more abrasive material takes advantage of to grab you by the throat and shake your head against a brick wall.

Flesh is Heir is an interesting Death Metal assault you won’t soon forget. There isn’t really anything wrong with this album other than some of the Industrial elements lead to really large jumps from one extreme to another. Fans of the intensity and insantiy of recent The Amenta will find this release a step in the right direction, showing great maturity in the band’s song writing skills, a great deal of energy in the performances, and a tighter overall sound on caught in a superb production. Flesh is Heir seems designed to tear your skin right off and feed it to you raw, as is normally the case from The Amenta.

01. Flesh Is Heir – 5:05
02. Ego Ergo Sum – 4:47
03. Teeth – 3:57
04. A Womb Tone – 2:47
05. Obliterate’s Prayer – 5:45
06. Sewer – 3:46
07. The Argument – 4:09
08. Cell – 4:47
09. Disintergrate – 3:04
10. A Palimpsest – 2:34
11. Tabula Rasa – 4:54
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

The Amenta (band)
The Amenta

Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records via Clawhammer PR.