Amken, ‘Adrenaline Shot’

Winners of the first ‘Top of the Rocks’ contest, Amken originated in Athens, Greece in September 2011.  They’re a Bay Area thrash band, currently touring live around Greece and various other countries and preparing their debut album, set to be released in early 2016.  Having previously played support slots with Six Feet Under, Skeleton Witch, Skullfist, Reactory and Biocancer etc, their biggest performance to date has been at Schoolwave Fest 2015, supporting Planet of Zeus, to a crowd of 1000 plus.  Featured on Metal Hammer’s compilation album, ‘Lessons in Violence’, this, their debut EP, was released in 2015, via Mexican label EBM Records.

Adrenaline Shot – Wow!  Blistering riff and drum intro, with very fiery vocals and I’m loving it already.  Great rapid pace; well-suited to the genre and if the raging lyrics are anything to go by, they’ve started as they mean to go on).  It’s got all the right ingredients, including a blazing closing section.  Municipal Waste springs to mind within this sound.  Perfect opening.

Zombie Pets – Banging intro, with the most gorgeous melodic riff.  Really bloody catchy and those drums are just the right kind of quick and steady pace you want, to keep your attention.  Liking the power screams lots.  This holds a fresh and exciting feel to it, whilst sounding so accomplished you know you’re in good hands.  Filled with hooks and plenty of paradiddles in there too.  It’s got that great blend of serious metal and uplifting tones, which to my mind, is a recipe for success.

Nightmares – Oh! Intrigue… nicely done novel and curious intro, with a combo of typically metal storms and drastically untypical sounds, reflecting what could be any range of external influences.  Seguing into familiar metallic territory at just the right time – it appeals to my sense of experimental, mixed with good old predictable metal sounds.  Alternate pacing, here and there, in a sheer dizzying way, especially in riffage terms and the fade out riff’s just pure beauty.

Gods Asleep – Ooh, hammering it home, with an unhesitantly hardened, heavy sound – well placed styles in the closer.  Playing around again cleverly with the riff tempo, but never losing their thread for a moment.  Heightening the pace just before the mid-section and injecting more catchiness and melody, to fuel the song’s energy in just the right ways and places.  It’s a nice length – allowing focus and fun at the same time.  No room for boredom here).  Slight reminder of CSOD’s ‘Sexsomnia’ at this point and ending on a well timed closing riff).

Overall – A delightfully melodic thrash project, to please and satiate your metal sensibilities.  You’ll have fun with this.  A perfectly sized, enjoyable package of fun, reliable metal for the purists amongst us.

10/10 ********** 

For fans of power/speed metal, Bay Area thrash metal, such as Testament; Slayer, Municipal Waste, The Heretic Order, CSOD.  www.facebook.csoduk



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