The Amenta: Chokehold

With their new album into its final stages of recording and with an early 2013 release date in the planning, Australian extreme noise metalers The Amenta have made the wait more bearable with the unleashing of the Chokehold EP. A five track release consisting of a brand new song, a cover, two live tracks and a remix, it is a muscular intrusion to devour eagerly. For those new to the band it is a great introduction and for existing fans a collection of songs which feel more than a mere stop gap until the arrival of Flesh Is Heir next year.

Chokehold follows the 2011 release VO1D which saw the first recordings with of at the time new vocalist Cain Cressall. The new EP is similar in its construction of content to its predecessor but hard to tell how reflective it will be of the forthcoming album. One gets the feeling it is giving mere hints though going by history and this new EP one can always expect something of immense quality senses startling.

In the sheet accompanying Chokehold, Tim Pope (samples, keyboards) from the band says the new album “Flesh is Heir is a refinement, progression and deconstruction of The Amenta’s sound. A very guitar-centric album, as a reaction to the deliberately abstract nature of n0n.” The title track gives a definite aural picture to his words and though the trademark maelstrom of discordant and unbalanced melodies, destructive noises, and intrusive electronics are still there, the music carries a surer caustic bruising and scarring through the guitars than on the mentioned 2008 album of ambient electronic destruction.

    Chokehold the song crashes the ear immediately with a gnarly corruptive grinding on bone and cartilage. Instantly oppressive and openly abrasive the track ferments and blisters within the senses breaking down resistance whilst brewing an increasing addiction to its overwhelming violating sounds. The guitar of Erik Miehs is a sadistic venomous Zorro, swiping through the air with sharp acid dripping strokes whilst bassist Dan Quinlan prowls and stalks sanity with a ravenous yet patient heavy pulsating presence. With beats and rhythms from drummer Robin Stone igniting and disorientating synapses, the track consumes and infests with a suffocating majesty spread further by the corrosive tones of Cressall. The song envelops with a tempest of sound which brings essences of the likes of Fear Factory, Young Gods, Ministry, Society 1, and Godflesh, whose track the band cover next up, into an abusive compelling destruction. It is a stunning track which whether it gives strong indication of what is to come on the new album or not heightens anticipation.

      Christ Bait Rising like the opener is said to have been ‘recorded and produced with a modern take on Godflesh’s influential ‘Street Cleaner’ album’s sound and aesthetic.’ What it does do is ignite and further rub raw the wounded senses and emotions caused by the first track. It is another sprawling and sonic scathing of all things safe, bringing a fresh breath and energy let alone intent into an already great track. Not as impressive as Chokehold it still leaves one gasping and reeling under the disruptive onslaught of noise and shows The Amenta a band inspired by and respectful to one of the instigators of noise.

The two live tracks are in many ways more impressive than what came before. Seken and Vermin in their raw state showing the band as one of the most powerful on stage around and able to realise their imaginative and defined elements just as strongly as they produce live crippling intensity and sounds. They also force a definite decision to catch the band live if and when they touch and spoil Europe and the UK.

A remix of Void from VO1D closes the release, its atmospheric ambience and serpentine electronic manipulations a sonic paint stripper upon the ear and beyond. Compulsive and ruining the track like the rest only leaves deep satisfaction in its wake.

Released via Listenable Records, Chokehold is a great snack before the main meal of Flesh is Heir though it also leaves an impatient hunger behind, one only The Amenta can satisfy.

www.theamenta.com

RingMaster 21/08/2012

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Ghost In The Static: Fallout

Pic – Wicked Boy Photography

Already having garnered a strong and eager fan base as well as strong acclaim for their previous album and EPs, it is not pushing the realms of credibility to predict Ghost In The Static will put it all in the shade once their new album Fallout hits the world on September 1st. The album is quite simply immense, a magnificent explosion of electro industrial metal  which takes the senses on a massive thrilling ride. If you were impressed by their previous work and who could not be with its vibrancy and cutting energy, Fallout will leave you in rapture.

Formed in 2009 by frontman Steve Fearon, Ghost In The Static explored, experimented with, and evolved an evocative and stirring sound which was impossible not to connect with. Their Open Eyed Dreamer Part I: Revelation debut album of 2011 fully impressed as it showed a band still evolving but already creating compulsive inciteful sounds. Earlier this year two EPs The Infection Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 gave a teaser to what was to come and certainly ignited great anticipation though neither gave real warning of the incendiary levels of invention and  imagination to come. The new album has more muscle and intensity thrusting through its sound though the band has not neglected their electronic and melodic side. They have evolved it all into a striking consumption of emotional blistering and concussive energy. Think Celldweller and Suicide Commando in a riotous union with Nine Inch Nails and most of all Pitchshifter and you get a sense of the storm of creativity which envelops and brings climactic pleasure to a head.

Still within the world of post-apocalyptic struggle which themes their music, the new album is not so much a united series of songs as on the last album though all are linked by an overall  vibe to stand powerfully individually or as part of Fallout. This gives it a better balance than its predecessor in many ways but no less expansive in its atmosphere and depth. It is also more direct and intrusive, the attack a perpetual and sustained insistence from the first full track to the last lingering note of the release.

Starting with Armageddon, a brief intro setting the landscape the album is set in, the release slams into the ear with the title track, a stirring electrified rub of energy upon the senses. There is an immediate hunger to the song which takes no for an answer as the guitars of  Gareth Stapleton and Lewis Collins score the senses with sharp and impactful riffs and melodic surges. The synths of Collins sizzle like acid on flesh across the air of the track to disrupt the already riled energy pervading every pore, whilst the edgy basslines of Mike Fearon simply leaves one looking over their shoulder. A step into a graceful melodic aside gives brief respite though even there the tinge of destruction is whispering in the ear. The track is openly infectious and bustles thoughts and emotions in to a sense of something even more special to come.

      Another Day builds on the excellent start to raise the temperature even higher. It is a provocative and challenging slice of invention which straight away evokes imagery and emotions. A distressed ambience opens the song with the fear and desperation of someone lost calling through the sonic distortion. The plea is smothered as the track erupts into a boiling maelstrom of energies and aural disruption. The rhythms of drummer Martin Rogers echo and pulsate within bone as the song ignites the caustic air with its contagious tarnished melodic enterprise and insistent niggling synths. It is the triumphant brassy jazz sounds though which provide the match to full rapture which lingers long after the closing return to the lonely voice.

The muscular and venomous IWTMT  brings a fluid union of metal and electronic craft to keep things stewing perfectly whilst the ferocious stomp of Saviour and the corrosive breath of Rapture just give further abrasive charges of electrified pleasure. Each and every track leaves nothing but awe in their wake but when it comes to Not Enough and Fallen Gods it becomes something almost illicit. The first is simply infection gone wild, the rampaging energies and hooks barbed with addiction making melodic poison as it sweeps limbs and senses up into a brawling and insatiable tornado of sound and passion. Once bitten the song remains within forever, a companion in sleep, thought, and those intimate moments though its rhythms make a great pace maker. Fallen Gods is the same, a song which refuses to leave without an exorcism. Like a rampant Rabbit Junk, the band teases and molests with more of their adoration baiting melodies and inspirational imagination and both confirm what a strong vocalist Steve has become. Both carry a more electronic gait in contrast to the harder earlier songs though all are perfectly unruly and powerful.

With two vocal guests in MiXE1 on Lost and Cease2Xist  in Everyone, a couple of emerging industrial/electro powers, and the closing dark elegance of Judgement Day, the album is the fullest feast of experimentation, imagination, and irresistible energy. The pleasure does not stop there though as the CD version alone contains the brilliant and slightly punky YDNTL plus the equally stunning Nihilism III, which to our mind makes the download redundant such their greatness, but do not tell the band we said that.

Fallout is one of the best albums to come out this year and within electro industrial metal possibly the very best so far. Ghost In The Static has come a long way since those early days and just keep getting better and better. Whilst you mark that release date  off on your calendars we are off for a cold shower, phew!

To find out more, pre-orders etc go to http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk

Listen to Ghost In The Static tracks from Fall Out on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show

RingMaster 16/08/2012

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