Amestigon - _Hollentanz_
(Napalm Records, 1998)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
The arrival of this four-song, 22-minute MCD was a great and welcome surprise. I had been assuming that Amestigon were no more, because quite some time has passed since the release of their split CD with Angizia. (It seems like ages to me, anyway.) But I'm glad this assumption was mistaken, because the early Amestigon material has really grown on me in the intervening time, and this new MCD picks up right where the band left off: black metal as it should be, icy, uncomplicated, and dark. I can't say that the Amestigon sound is especially unique. If you imagine Abigor's early music, stripped down to its pained and melancholic core, then you have a fairly good idea of what Amestigon sounds like. But one thing I can say, emphatically, is that this band still succeeds in being chilly, atmospheric, and evocative -without- sounding generic, overwrought, or contrived. It's just good, unpretentious black metal. It doesn't sound like yet another inauthentic knock-off, and it's free of all the melodic boredom and "symphonic" bombast currently being fabricated by countless bandwagon-jumping, popularity-seeking bands. Granted, I didn't give Amestigon's debut outing a very high score -- but believe me, if I had known then what I know now about the way the scene was going to develop, I would have held up that release as an under-appreciated frosty gem. That's definitely the way I view it now. (It's too bad the Angizia portion of that split CD is so lame.) _Hollentanz_, which features session work by members of Abigor, will be the last official Amestigon release. And it strikes me as a damn good way to make an exit: record some truly genuine, decidedly un-trendy, sincere-sounding black metal. Frankly, I'm willing to bet that the majority of so-called black metal bands putting out albums in 1998 and beyond will never, ever manage to do the same thing.

(article published 13/4/1998)

7/28/2010 M Dolson 6 Amestigon - Sun of All Suns
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