The Amenta – Chokehold EP (Listenable Records)

Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Stopgap EPs are almost always a mixed bag and this inescapable issue is usually exacerbated when it’s a digital only release. Often times a throwaway b-side from the previous album is pressed together with a handful of forgettable (and for metal releases, often shitty sounding) live tracks and pressed out to tide fans over till a new album drops. For The Amenta and Chokehold , that isn’t quite the case as even if its validity as a release is questionable at best, for what it does provide it is quality throughout.

Never a group to be subtle, The Amenta’s hyper intensive death/industrial hybrid is alive and well on Chokehold and ever ready to bludgeon the listener into a fine and efficient pulp. Serving as an aesthetic introduction in the forthcoming Flesh Is Heir, the music on hand shares much more in common with the guitar-focused and pulverizing mentality of the band’s first album Occasus. Not that the synth-driven ‘weirdery’ isn’t here adding ornamenting the songs but it is no longer the driving force as it was on n0n. The new studio track “Chokehold” says everything the EP needs to, seething with abrasive textures and a completely dehumanized tone. A cover of Godflesh’s “Christ Bait Rising” makes complete the new studio tracks and is equally crushing if not exactly dissimilar from the original.

A live-sounding remix of the title track from last year’s VO1D and a pair of live tracks fill out the rest of the EP and surprisingly aren’t throwaways. The live tracks in particular sound incredibly dense and showcase the band being able to pull off its studio sound in obscenely convincing fashion (the bass presence is fucking monstrous). While each of the five tracks on hand do have something to offer, the listener this release isn’t built to last. A very miniscule taste of things to come for fans but nothing substantial for non-fans or newcomers, Chokehold misses most stop-gap release problems, but not by much.

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(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)