The Amenta – Flesh Is Heir (Listenable Records)

Friday, 31st May 2013
Rating: 8/10

This band of Aussie noise sculptors have been around since 2002, somehow flying under my radar with their previously recorded efforts, 2002’s Mictlan, 2004’s Occasus, 2008’s n0n and 2011’s v01d. My research has uncovered that they started out as a two-piece with a more experimental, dissonant and electronic sound and have slowly evolved into a full-fledged metal band complete with vocalist, drummer and bass player.

Flesh Is Heir is an album chock full of surprises. Balls-out death/black metal complete with more tremolo chugs and pick scrapes than you can shake a dick at and strange industrial and found-sound interludes that leave the listener with that elephant-on-the-chest feeling. There is some melody to be found here and the band do slow down long enough to introduce creepy, cinematic textures in just the right places… but it’s the entirely smothering and claustrophobic atmosphere found throughout the album that ties the work together.

Unlike most bands that use a drum machine on their records, The Amenta do so in a purposeful way… it doesn’t sound like they are trying to trick the listener into believing it’s a flesh and blood dude playing, but rather it is used to add to the overall vibe of the record, and as opposed to other bands with triggery-sounding robot drummers, the less than crystalline sounding production makes it work somehow.

I hope this band starts getting the recognition they deserve. They seem to have perfected the art of bringing the soundtracks of nightmares to life.

The Amenta official site