Amniac – Infinite (Distroball)Sunday, 28th December 2014
One of the biggest problems with post-metal when reviewing is how broad a term it is. You can push things towards the quieter end with the shoegaze-y stuff or you can thoroughly bury things in sludge at the furthest ends of heaviness. Leave it to a band like Amniac to see how far they can blur the lines.
Just to make sure there are no misconceptions, there’s no shoegaze influence here, so at the quieter end of Amniac’s sound, you are more inclined to some melodic riffs and acoustic moments. These moments provide a nice breather from the sludge-ridden heavy sensations the band does a good job of portraying. By also avoiding the clean vocals in these softer sections, it also keeps the atmosphere a bit darker (and avoids the Tool comparisons). Even when Amniac takes things into these heavier segments, they do keep a genuine sense of melody at hand. When you are writing 8-minute tracks, this is an important tool to have at your disposal. The melodies (and occasional grooves), combined with the growls, also provide some effective emotion but never bringing it too far into the mushy. Lastly, they also avoid the trapping of many similar bands by keeping the album length short and sweet. For a subgenre that usually has no problems getting to the hour-mark, 41 minutes keeps things a bit fresher.
If you are a fan of Cult of Luna, Isis, or Neurosis, you’ll find something to enjoy about Infinite. Amniac’s debut hits all the right spots when necessary and is quite confident in knowing just when to shift the dynamic to move from heavy to soft or vice versa and keep the emotions present but not gushy. Watching Amniac progress as they continue to record should provide some promise if you like your metal with atmosphere.