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A.M.E.N. – The Book of Lies – Liber I

The Book of Lies – Liber I
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 May 2023, 4:35 AM

From Bandcamp, “Vittorio Sabelli is certainly to be counted among the most talented and leading musicians of the Italian underground metal, as demonstrated with DAWN OF A DARK AGE, INCANTVM and NOTTURNO, all projects in which he has poured not only the typical eclecticism of a technically gifted and inspired multi-instrumentalist, but also an extraordinary culture. With A.M.E.N. Sabelli makes his passion for Aleister Crowley manifest, setting to music some of the most enlightening writings from "The Book of Lies." The musical imprint of the project, which exists in a delicate balance between Jazz and Extreme Metal, can be compared to that impressed by John Zorn on his impromptu Rock/Metal lineups to narrate the occult and esotericism in music.”

The 16 songs are very short, and very personal. Some of them exist outside of musical conventions and border on noise. I don’t say that like it’s a bad thing however, it’s just what I hear. Other songs are bit longer, and closer to what the lay person would describe as “music.” “The Sabbath of the Goat” is one example of the latter. It features a slow and steady beat, with female vocals and a lively clarinet climbing up and down the ladder. At times, she is angry, lashing out with harsh vocals. Other times, she whispers incantations of sorts. “Dinosaur” is another example. There is a simple riff and snarly male vocals, with a host of other sound in the background. When the band creates more linear songs like this, it’s easier to assimilate.

A few of the songs, however, are just plain odd. “The Smoking Dog” is an example. A fast and aggressive riff combines with some really strong clarinet playing…how often do you say that on an album. Jazz, however, isn’t the overriding genre here. In fact, it’s not even much of the background. “Jazz” instruments don’t necessarily mean a Jazz sound. Extreme Metal is the proponent I hear most. “Waratah-Blossoms” is another example. The only sounds you really hear are the ravings of a mad-woman, and the soft rising and falling of the wind. “Samson” is under one minute. Although it sounds like “Metal” to me, even with the sax notes, it doesn’t last long enough to make an impact.

“Windlestraws” is much more of a traditional song, if you call any of the songs traditional. An aggressive riff combines with screaming vocals, and, of course, other notes that don’t make a lot of sense or fit in with the rest of the song. If this is Sabelli on many of the side instruments, he does a really nice job, and it’s clear that he is indeed talented. But let’s talk about the songwriting here. It would be hard to find an audience for this music, no matter how talented the musicians are. Although I am largely a Metalhead by trade, I can appreciate a lot of different music, which is one of the reasons I take a lot of promos from this record label. I’m afraid however that this music is just too strange for most people to connect with, though I enjoyed some moments quite well.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

Purchase Link:

3 Star Rating

1. Baphomet
2. The Sabbath of the Goat
3. The Cry of the Hawk
4. The Battle of the Ants
5. Dinosaur
6. The Smoking Dog
7. Steeped Horsehair
8. Waratah-Blossoms
9. Samson
10. The Blind Webster
11. Dewdrops
12. Windlestraws
13. Pilgrim-Talk
14. Dragons
15. Mulberry Tops
16. A.M.E.N.
Vittorio Sabelli – All Instruments
Matteo Vitelli – Vocals
Erba del Diavolo – Vocals
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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