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Ahamkara - The Embers Of The Stars

Ahamkara
The Embers Of The Stars
by Jacob Dawson at 21 January 2015, 8:36 PM

The debut release from AHAMKARA ticks a certain number of boxes required from a Death Metal band. It’s fast, the songs are long, the guitars are extremely technical, if a bit repetitive, and there’s a bloke screaming his head off in there somewhere, too. But is that enough?

That isn’t to say that that’s all the album is made of; the band describe themselves as “atmospheric” on their Facebook page, and they are certainly that. The significant amount of synth plays an important role in defining this, as during “On The Shores Of Defeat” in particular the keyboard turns what had been a standard, predictable experience in “Midwinter’s Hymn” into something slightly more special. During the second half there is a strong sound effect of water lapping at a shore, in homage to the song title, and the added melody the keyboards bring to the rest of the song seems to be picked up by the guitars, which suddenly are twice as interesting as they were in the opening track.

However, one thing that must be criticized is the vocals. echoing from the background, and entirely incomprehensible, they do very little besides distract you from the sections when the guitars are being very repetitive and make you wonder what the vocalist had been doing before recording.

A theme that seems to persist through all four tracks is for the intro to last until halfway through the song and include the standard repetitive guitars and screaming vocals, then for the synth and more melodic and rhythmical guitars to kick in after that and carry us to the atmospheric, effects-based outro. While the final three songs are a cut above the first, they are still all too similar to each other and with each song clocking in at almost 15 minutes it’s all too apparent when a lack of variation is present.

This is a mediocre Death Metal release, without the death growls. There’re hints at some ideas down the atmospheric road, but they’re never fully realized unfortunately, and the melodies are always cut short all too early. Possibly worth checking out for fans of the genre, but you’ve pretty much heard all of this before.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Midwinter’s Hymn
2. On The Shores Of Defeat
3. Lamentations Of A Wraith
4. To Invoke The Stars Themselves
Lineup:
Steve Black - Vocals
Michael Blenkarn - Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Record Label: Nordvis/Bindrune Recordings
     


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