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Amiensus – Abreaction Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 August 2020, 11:43 AM

Hailing from Minnesota, USA, and formed in 2010, Avant-Garde/Post/Atmospheric Black Metal band AMIENSUS are set to release their third album, “Abreaction,” which contains nine new tracks. “Beneath the Waves” opens the album. It opens with tender clean guitars, leading to ethereal vocals and a charming sound. You feel at peace with the world. A charge of heavy guitars and screams comes next. The drums pick up after the half-way mark, and the vocals become angrier.

“Divinity” is close to six-minutes in length. Opening with clean guitars and strings, it establishes a charming but melancholy tone. When the distorted guitars drop, harmonized clean vocals combine with harsh vocal screams. This juxtaposition is unique, indeed. An ambient passage clears your senses, then it’s back to the original sound to completion. “To the Edge of Life” opens slowly, with harsh vocals in the forefront. The guitars create this constant state of motion with their fast picked style. The music, though doleful, is melodic at the same time.

“A Convocation of Spirits” features some more ambient moments. Clean vocals do not come in until close to two minutes in, followed by tortured vocal screams. All the while, the music maintains this sad but hopeful melody. It picks up in pace and intensity, then clean vocals and strings take us to completion. “Euphorica” features a dark and heavy sound out of the gate. Then, it backs off a bit, with clean guitars and audible bass notes. Harsh vocals follow, with a charge of heavy guitars. “Drowned” opens with heavy distorted guitars and galloping drums. It is relentless in its attack, keeping those dark and angry tones throughout the song.

“Cold Viscera” opens with heavy guitars and melodic overtones. It’s their ability to combine these two elements that makes them such a great band, and how/when to use the various combinations. Around the half-way mark, the guitars take on a marching sound, then it’s back to the previous despondent sounds. “All that is Unknown” opens with a darker sound, with harsh and menacing vocals. Yet again, subdued melodies are present. But this might be the fiercest song on the entire album. It is thick with emotion. “Iconoclasm” closes the album, with even darker and heavier tones. I take it back…this song is the fiercest on the album. They close with the heaviest and angriest song on the album.

Overall, this was a fantastic release. In some ways, they remind me if RIVERS OF NIHIL, or IHSAHN, without the lovely oddities that come from the later band. “Abreaction” is a little more straightforward in that regard. But, as I mentioned above, it their ability to combine competing elements that really makes them the kind of band that they are. Harsh, angry tones combine with pretty ambient moments, but it’s the placement of these various moments that makes the album as strong as it is. At its core, it is depressing music, but in a beautiful way.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Beneath the Waves
2. Divinity
3. To the Edge of Life
4. A Convocation of Spirits
5. Euphorica
6. Drowned
7. Cold Viscera
8. All that is Unknown
9. Iconoclasm
James Benson – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Alec Rozsa – Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
D. Todd Farnham – Bass
Kelsey Roe – Guitar
Chris Piette – Drums
Record Label: Transcending Records


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