Friday, January 11, 2013

Amiensus – Restoration

As I was looking through my old blog posts, I realized I wrote about Amiensus twice. It's about time I wrote up a proper review of their work.

Amiensus is a black metal band from America that play some awesome Emperor-worship. The first thing that hits you is the wall-of-sound production, which fits the music perfectly, as its myriad sounds swirl around you with intense energy and grace. The drums vary between standard mid-paced beats and black metal blasts. They're nothing new, but they display incredible skill and vigor. They also include a great deal of keyboards to the music to give it another layer of detail.

In terms of vocals, they utilize both black metal rasps and death metal growls. The growls are extremely deep and monstrous and the rasps sound quite similar to Ihsahn. Like Agruss, they provide a nice juxtaposition to the music. What really stood out to me were the clean vocals. They are the wondrous beauty that stands in stark contrast to the harsh black metal. These vocals bear a great deal of similarities to other bands, including Austere, Into Eternity, Fen, Cursed Altar, and a whole bunch of other bands I can't remember. Some black metal fans will regard these clean vocals as “gay” and “unkvlt”, but who gives a shit what they think? One of the songs even features vocals performed by Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams. I've never listened to Abigail Williams, but this man's clean signing voice is beautiful. Upon further research, I also learned that Ken Sorceron mastered the album. I guess I have him to think for the wall-of-sound quality the music has.

The most amazing parts of this album are the guitars. They are powerful and melodic with lots of technical flair. They still play some traditional black metal riffs with a few blackened folk metal riffs thrown in between, but some of the riffs remind me of Gallowbraid and Oak Pantheon. They have such a resonating, atmospheric feel to them. Their solos totally floor me. They mainly consist of long, drawn-out single chords that are similar to Oak Pantheon and other bands of their type. They really help to bring out the beauty of the music. They also play some acoustic sections that serve as a break from the black metal. They're well-crafted and don't feel like padding at all.

Amiensus have produced some of the greatest music I've heard in a long time. I have a feeling they have a promising future ahead of them.

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