Review Summary: A bone-crushingly heavy, dissonant journey
The Amenta have always been a unique, crushing force. N0n
, the predecessor to Flesh Is Heir
, was undoubtedly one of the most extreme records of 2008. So much so that, at times, the album sounded like it literally wanted to tear the listener to shreds. That kind of intensity is definitely present on the band’s 2013 outing Flesh Is Heir
, too, which is another rousing success for these Australian savages. Compared to n0n
, it’s a more immediate, accessible listen, but it also features stronger songwriting and an immaculate flow. The album moves like a fearsome entity, as Flesh Is Heir
is not just a collection of warped, twisted songs (like n0n
was), but rather a dissonant, dark journey that introduces us to barren landscapes, ghastly visions and the darkest of thoughts.
It’s nigh impossible to pigeonhole The Amenta into a genre, which is also what makes them stand out. Their novel amalgamation of industrial-, death- and black metal hits as hard as a freight train, while mesmerizing with its amount of detail. Yet, it’s anything but organized in the sense that it is a truly chaotic piece of music. Flesh Is Heir
isn’t another extreme industrial metal album where the focus is solely on chugging guitars and industrial overtones. Instead, it’s a crushing record with a sound that you’d get when mixing together Meshuggah, Psycroptic and Red Harvest. Most of the time it’s heavy as ***, with devastating drums, cacophonous guitars, tortured screams and sinister industrial effects forming a maelstrom of metal, but here and there baleful, mechanically ritualistic interludes slow everything down and add even more tension to the mix. The music is largely discordant, but when something resembling a melody does pop up, it sounds bloody antagonistic. The record carries with it an unnerving aura, and much like the band’s murky videos, aims to instill a state of discomfort inside the listener - a type of discomfort that is utterly enjoyable, though, and calls forth frissons of excitement.
Flesh Is Heir
is not as twisted as n0n
was, but it’s also a more mature and better produced CD (not to mention exceptionally heavy). It’s almost impossible to say which is the better record, as both dwarf the grand majority of albums similar to them. N0n
was a noisy, abhorrent force that downright dazzled with its mix of death metal brutality and industrial spectrality, while Flesh Is Heir
offers the listener a loud, dissonant and crushing journey into the dark side of the human psyche. They are two different, yet equally accomplished records that both thrive under the same circumstances and draw the same crowd. The Amenta do not play music for the fainthearted; they like to intimidate, unsettle and allure their listeners all at once with their brand of chaotic metal. If that sounds appealing enough, Flesh Is Heir
is sure to deliver the goods.