Australian extreme music collective the Amenta are a remarkably intense proposition, even by black and death metal standards. With "Erebus," the vertiginous opening track of their inaugural album, 2004's Occasus, the group unleashes a barrage of speed-riffs, crushed throat shouting, and what may or may not be programmed drums (such is their precision and velocity) that recall the similarly claustrophobic crush of Norway's Zyklon or Canada's Cryptopsy. The re-recorded title track of the Amenta's three-song demo from two years earlier is up next, and it too roars past in a near-blur, with occasional brief respites from the din only taking shape via slower, groovier power chords and gothic bits of symphonic orchestration. Taking that a step further, mood-setting instrumental montages like "Senium" and the title track add more texture and ambiance to the proceedings, while serving to set up subsequent displays of head-spinning aggression like "Ennea" and the aptly named "Nihil." Elsewhere, album highlight "Geilt" could very well fit into any number of esoteric black metal records put out by Poland's similarly inventive and unpredictable Behemoth; and the nerve-shattering "Sangre" effortlessly doubles the fire contained in some of Rotting Christ's more industrial-leaning outings. In sum, this secretive Aussie collective has struck upon a formidable formula with which to stun their unsuspecting prey, and that can only bode well for their future.
by Eduardo Rivadavia