Amken formed in Athens, Greece in 2011 and have supported many famous names since then. This is their first full-length album. Production began in July 2015. Produced by experienced French engineer David Prudent, artwork design by American artist Bill Hauser, of Hirax and Ghoul, the album release follows their debut EP ‘Adrenaline Shot’. (See that review for more info). Check out their first video clip for ‘Zombie Pets’ – their initial breakthrough. Just having completed a mini Italian tour, the band are now ready to unleash their new material.
Shattered Sanity – Oh yeah! Very Panteraesque and straight in there like a metal edged scythe, exterminating all in its path. Blistering riffs, high-speed rhythms, heavy hardened melodies and high-powered drums, with power screams littered throughout. This whole track conjures up imagery of a metal backed assault with power machines in a garden of death. Increasing the pace towards the end, till you’re just blown away by the heightened reaches of steel. Immense!
Theater Of The Absurd – Great title. Bang. In we go, with a frenzied riff fest of epic proportions, backed by incredulously energised power vocals and screams you can’t help but destroy yourself screaming along with. Fabulously rhythmic drumming, which is almost melodic in itself. Closing on a brilliantly enthused throaty scream. You’d have to be dead not to throw yourself into this.
D.A.P. – Steadier pace and certainly no less fun. Harmonies which suit it down to the ground and an overall cohesive, impassioned feel. Riffs climbing ever upwards and chasing themselves on till the all too rapid ending. Solid, neat, expressive and metallic.
Obedient Dogs – Cymbal hits opening, before the entrance of aggressive lyrics and some nice use of echo. It all comes together well and fuses as one. High quality, high volume, high impact. This is your classic example of uplifting, skilled and versatile metal with even more power and verve than most. It just carries an extra layer to make it stand out and scream power.
Wired – Slight downtone, which shifts gear, without losing any emphasis or strength. This time, the pace quickens and slows alternately, always retaining the fun and heavy flavour – in fact, increasing it even more towards the unhesitant end. These guys are taking no prisoners.
Soul’s Crypt – Immediate, forceful intro, unrelenting and screeching raw energy and anger. Those power screams are something else. It’s as if there’s an extra dimension of strength and insistence within them. The drums get faster and sexier till you just want to fall over them and the whole thing ends with exactitude and incredible magnitude. Born metallers.
Sacred Machine – Blasting straight off, with sheer force of will. If anything embraces the spirit of metal, this does. True metal feeling and communion sings, bleeds and screams throughout it. Some really well-placed variations in pace follow the mid-section onwards and there are riffs in here you literally feel coursing through your veins. Gorgeous drum work and riff accompaniments at the end and everything about it just encompasses the true heart and soul of metal.
Addicted To Green – Crashing into life, without a moment’s hesitation, you’re going to be hard pushed not to get into it immediately. Anger, rage, forcefulness and extreme, sincere passion combine to create an absolute metal treasure. I’d be happy to take this with me to a desert island as the only album I was allowed. A bountiful metal paradise.
Overall – If there’s one album you make it your mission to hear and buy this year, make it ‘Theater Of The Absurd’. Like unlocking and releasing a long hidden precious gem you know you’ll never want to be without again.
For fans of Testament, Slayer, Pantera and general high-quality speed/power/thrash metal.