Sep 19, 2011
Amebix - Sonic Mass ...
True, Amebix used to be way more rough, difficult and harsh, in their earlier works. Their approach was much more abrasive, yet while the sound has been refined, and shaped into a mixture that allows a sense of melody and hooks to filter into the aggression, their basic chugging ferocity is still there. Just used for a different final result.
Where in the past, the band could be labeled at first as a powerful and vitriolic mixture between metallic riffage and hardcore/crust roots, now the focus is different. And the result is absolutely awesome. The opening, slow, tense melody of “Days” is where many people could already drop the anchor: it's bitter, sad, intimate at first. And yet when the chugging riff explodes, the effect is even more intense. Its later Killing Joke (an influence I could hear in every note) meeting a Post-Metal sensibility and a sense of epic energy that is pretty much unique.
As it could be heard on the first single (which is the closer on the album, and one of the most incredibly intense tracks on it), today's Amebix love glorious refrains, surrounded by steely, giant riffs, moody keyboards, with vocals that are intimate and emotional but on the edge of exploding into soaring, gritty choruses. Amebix isn't a “crust” band anymore. They're chosen a path that is more emotional, more metallic, more memorable and maybe a bit more “palatable” but still unique and great. I am in love with it, refusing it would be a great mistake.
Review Written By Andreas Contanzo