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Amestigon – Thier Award winner

by Charlotte ''Downright Destructive'' Lamontagne at 28 May 2015, 12:04 PM

Ever since the 80s, Europe has been home to the metal scene. With the New Wave of British Heavy Metal first propelling heaviness all around the world, more and more somber atmospheres and complex arrangements would take the lead. At the peak of this progression, black metal would become the new extreme sensation. Born from the depths of Scandinavia and inspired by aggressive and darkened influences, the genre progressed all the way to becoming sometimes symphonic throughout the lightless themes. With brilliance and chaos, Austrian band AMESTIGON recreate the typical underground black metal ambiance but with strange soothing melodies and reflections. Filled with harsh emotions, the 1995 formation has since released demos, splits and extended plays but only one studio album ''Sun off all Suns'' in 2010. Now striking back with the progressive 60 minute long record ''Thier'', AMESTIGON once again prove their dedication to music with this fine piece of artistry. As you soon will observe, much time and thought has been put into the details, always in an attempt to seduce the listener.

The final result is experimental, undecided between fervent and grandiose. The foundations are furious (rapid drums and distortion topped with guttural vocals), but all is polished and cleaned up with sophisticated chants and subtle keyboards arrangements – bringing back the roots of the symphonic black metal signature. Not the typical show off record fed up with endless solos and leads, but more of a tasteful product. ''Thier'' deserves recognition for it is an album built with accuracy. The quartet is thorough, these men take their time and explore every idea to it's most profound form. A riff will be worked out to its highest every single time, it is exquisitely played. In order to discern and appreciate (or even remember) anything from this record, you must sit yourself down and really make time to soak yourself up with the energies and concepts emoting from the bands mind. For all the potential this record holds, the progressive and yearning musical approach is what keeps the band in the underground scene. Far too elaborated for the common radio sound, the Austrian quartet will keep innovating for sure, but probably only within the territory of extreme/underground black metal. However, anything these men aspire to play, I believe will be done with passion and gifted skills.

Creativity emerges from the mind of this record for its noticeable progressive influences. With every song lasting from 10 to 20 minutes long, the evolution is stimulating and gripping. Either you are lost within the raging double pedal or in the elaborated symphonic arrangements giving a solid and melodic finish to the bands sound. For instance, ''Demiurg'' begins with a slow, dramatic progression. Through all the nuances, an intense feel grows to explode into angered musicians setting fire to their instruments. A great opener which will lead on to the very refined ''358'', just as unsettling by its perfect balance of horrid and delicacy. Always, always building towards a climax, the record seems to create a prevailing suspense. AMESTIGON's artistic process is effective. Either waiting for the burst or being taken by surprise, the listener will be forced to admit how captivating of a record this one can be. Add the complex partitions developing structured chaos, and there goes an impressive record. Determination marked by amplified accents, undeniable synchronicity and aggressive playing, ''Thier'' has much to offer. The eponymous track, a 20 minute piece, comes out to be a study of build ups and progression. With biting emotions of nostalgia and anxiety, the group here depicts a higher form of expression: through contrasts between the structures and the instrumentals, a whole story is unfold. Glorious chants to whispered cries, soft melodies to Tharen's insanely powerful drumming, the band has thought of everything. Along every other instruments, the use of guitars also serves a purpose of support, as if the band had wanted an equal balance of presence between every sound. There are no epic leads, hell the band even flirts with the borders of mute effects, causing the music to sometimes feel distant and fogy. Lanz' bass play is splendid, thanks to the pure round picking sound and the interesting slide effects. As of the lead vocalist, Silenius, the growls are inhaled and raw, guttural and restless. Truly, the kind of growl susceptible of making any forefather of the black movement proud. Notice the echoed priest-style voice effects adding to the tormented satanist ritual the whole album aspires to be… The beauty is profound, search for the details.

As black metal should be, AMESTIGON greatly sell the unhealthy atmosphere, the heavy, somber, disturbing angst. Complexly written, this withstanding master work leaves a definite feeling of awe before tricking you into the soul soothing melodies. ''Thier'', due for May 28th 2015, is a phenomenon… a boiling point where progressive and somber meet. Resting on ambiance and atmosphere, the album gravitates around occultism… Just give in to thee dark lord already!

4 Star Rating

1. Demiurg
2. 358
3. Thier
4. Hochpolung
Silenius – Vocals
Tharen (Rune) – Vocals & Drums & Keyboards
Lanz – Guitars & Bass
Herr Wolf – Guitars
Record Label: World Terror Committee


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Edited 04 February 2023

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