Amongst the Swarm - _Crowning the Defeated_
(Skeptic Productions, 2002)
by: Aaron McKay (7 out of 10)
A scaled-down, heavy study in underground metal mayhem awaits the conflicted soul brave enough to dare a spin of Amongst the Swarm's debut effort, _Crowning the Defeated_. There are no half-assed beats, cuts or chops found on this aggressive conflagration of musical effigy. Guitars nearly run wildly unchecked while held in balance by the furious beats of this offering's seven totally devastating tracks. Strained, hoarse vocals communicate the tortured message of considerable damage AtS lays on the listener without mercy. The American MidWest has little to offer in the vein of what this five-piece serves up: it's dark, restrained, but nearly uncontrolled in its hard-ass, riffy approach. "My Place of Rest" and "In Your Time of..." will speak volumes to what I am telling you here. Some suggestions might include either upping the intensity or, preferably, cultivating the "yang", as in Yin and Yang, and let the dominance of AtS's catchy bass-severity wreak havoc on the perception of the listener. Also, while Amongst the Swarm lays a heavy mix of hardcore and Swedish death metal out like a concrete super highway, delivering a strong message one way or the other between these two genres (mixed appropriately with all the tight breaks found on _Crowning the Defeated_) would help absorption of Amongst the Swarm's style. Absent these things, AtS could very well be on their way to ascending to the throne they seek, from which they could crown whomever they please...


(article published 24/7/2003)

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