The Amenta - _n0n_
(Listenable Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (10 out of 10)
Some four years in the making and following up on one of the most blistering debut efforts to hit the extreme music scene in aeons, it's fair to say that The Amenta's sophomore opus brings with it a certain weight of expectation. As it is, _Occasus_'s daringly offbeat amalgamation of abrasive industrial and the violence and anti-social irreverence of death and black metal raised the bar on a good many acts and continues to do so to this day. In fact, it remains astonishing to me that The Amenta's popularity hasn't yet ballooned well beyond the borders of their native Australia.

Be that as it may, if _n0n_ were to alter their fortunes in that regard, it certainly won't be thanks to any measure of compromise. By all standards, this is an ugly record; an album that harnesses the scouring brush effect of its industrial nuances to a markedly harsher degree than before, while at the same time ramping up the tone of practically every other extreme tinge. The resulting alchemy spikes toward a level of heaviness that at times is positively oppressive, and made all the more poignant by the smattering of zeitgeist-capturing samples that crop up over the course of the disc's fifty odd minutes.

The new man in the vocal booth, Remington, sounds not too dissimilar to his predecessor, though when "Slave" launches into its final pummelling crescendo he comes into his own in ways that Cassium never could. Yet more than anything else, the real story here is the evolution of the band as a singular entity. They're heavier, significantly darker, and just plain meaner than they were four years ago -- and this direction seems to fit them like a glove. The fact that _n0n_ demands repeat listens to fully appreciate means that they may find themselves remaining the tipple of a select few, but those that persevere are likely to discover a band that has just succeeded in topping a debut album that by most standards was faultless to begin with.


(article published 11/11/2008)

12/3/2008 J Smit The Amenta: The War of Art
11/19/2004 J Smit The Amenta: The Thunder Down Under
10/19/2004 J Smit 10 The Amenta - Occasus
5/28/2003 D Rocher 5 The Amenta - Mictlan
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