The Amenta

Australian industrial/death outfit The Amenta detonated a explosion of epic, mechanized hatred with 2004’s excellent Occasus, but they’ve been quiet since then. They’ve since refocused their vicious brand of blastbeats and barbed-wire riffage into n0n, a harrowing journey into the heart of a decaying cityscape. If you’ve never heard The Amenta before, be ready for an absolutely monstrous, devastating wall of sound. And even if you have, it seems they’ve dug darker and deeper to craft an even more unsettling experience.

Overall, n0n is more ambient and fragmented than Occasus. Where that album’s opener, “Erebus,” machine-gunned out a monster riff over a whirring, thundering deathmachine, n0n opener “Junky” (omitting the ambient intro) completely forsakes melody and riffs altogether and relies on pure rhythmic barrage to craft its cacophony. It’s as if they started with actual riffs and flow, then ripped it apart, re-welded it together, gave up halfway through and left the whole thing to rust. n0n is at once lethal and precise, yet spastic and indiscriminately destructive – the sound of a factory explosion turning flaming chunks of masonry and metalworks into cauterizing waves of city-leveling shrapnel.

Impressive as it is though, I miss the actual riffs that carried much of Occasus. Melody doesn’t have to be overly busy to conjure a mood, but these tracks are aggressively amelodic, with only a few exceptions. “Slave” achieves a tone of mounting dread with some rising chords at its core, but it falls short of the towering strains of “Mictlan” from Occasus. “Dirt” also works a cresting melodic line into its closing minutes, bringing just enough organic grandeur to break up the relentless industrial firestorm. These moments are peaks that are worth waiting for, but by the end of the album (which thankfully closes on an epic note), I couldn’t help feeling that The Amenta left something on the table by eschewing actual riffs. The rest of their sound is so scathing and awe-inspiring that a nod to Emperor or Anaal Nathrakh could’ve only taken them to even more terrifying heights.

It may also be time to explore a new definition of industrial. The entire industrial arsenal is fired here: distorted vocals and samples, jackhammer drumming, and a blazing forge full of hissing pipes and thudding pistons. It all still broadcasts caustic menace, but it’s far from original – especially after 20 years worth of similar soundscapes from the genre’s originators.

Ultimately, n0n is another corrosive, galvanizing experience like its predecessor, but it seems far too deconstructed to be anything more than a vicious aural assault. Here’s hoping they build upon what already works to create something even more effective in the future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
October 23rd, 2008


  1. Commented by: ceno

    Very nice read, thanks. I will try to get into these guys even though this album didn’t do much for me when I tried to listen to it for the first time.

  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Yet ANOTHER entrant in Uncle Cynny’s year-end lists. It’s been a pretty good year.

  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah? how’d you like it compared to Occasus?

  4. Commented by: Cynicgods

    They’re both good but I prefer Occasus. For the type of material they play, this band is only bested by Anaal Nathrakh and equaled by Red Harvest, even with a record that’s not as good as their first album. Still competing for a place in my list.

  5. Commented by: Kyle

    The new vocalist really did nothing for me on this one.

  6. Commented by: Hiraga Saito

    Entertaing but gets samey towards the end.

  7. Commented by: Mella

    For the I can’t compare Ocassus, and n0n because even if they have the same elements, they mixed very diferent, Ocassus is a more Riff/caotic/blast like, n0n is more industrial/ambient/restless drumming/experimental, with n0n they are exploring more ways to mix their elements, for me this is a Masterpiece, but I’m waiting for a 3rd album. I think that the best results and ideas will came in a third or fourth album.

  8. Commented by: Mella

    sorry for the bad english, is not my main language :P

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