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Amken - Passive Aggression

Passive Aggression
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 03 August 2022, 1:22 PM

As the past 10 years saw the rise of the neo-fascism tendencies in politics, sadly, many Metalheads tried to fit in this political way, saying out loud that ‘Metal isn’t political’. Although the Human Sciences states that such way of thinking is wrong, Metal really isn’t left-winged or right-winged. But as long as social themes are used into the genre in many different directions, to be a conservative that listens to Metal (and even Rock ‘n’ Roll) looks like a contradiction (you’re hearing to something that offends your convictions, after all). And in a moment when things are in a total ideological chaos, the Greek quartet AMKEN comes with their second album, “Passive Aggression”, a puke of disgust and non-conformity against the system.

The music of the band is anchored on a modern form of Thrash Metal that was built under influences of the German Thrash Metal titans (KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and SODOM). It’s aggressive and nasty, but using a very good technical insight, and what weighty instrumental arrangements (but pay attention and some melodies can be heard in many moments, as on “Passive Aggression”), and it’s really full of that amazing and catchy energy of the genre. Ok, their musical work isn’t astonishingly new at all, but who cares? It’s very good! The mixing was done by Fotis Benardo (drummer of NIGHTFALL) at Devasoundz Studio, and the mastering is signed by George Neratzis (who worked with DARK FUNERAL, ABBATH, ROTTING CHRIST, NIGHTRAGE, PAIN OF SALVATION, and others), and the sonority of the album is abrasive, weighty and clean. It’s a modern sound quality, but respecting the instrumental tunes and forms of the genre. And what a lovely piece of art on the cover, and it’s a creation of Adam Burke (who signs arts for ANGEL WITCH, VEKTOR, SÓLSTAFIR, and others).

As a second album, “Passive Aggression” is a release that shows points where the band can mature in the future. But if one has doubts about the album’s value, you’re invited to take a bite on “The Underdogs” (a massive and fast Thrash Metal song with boosts of energy in many moment, and what brutal and technical work on bass guitar and drums), “I Am the One” (this one shows a tendency of using slow tempos and a bone-crushing set of weighty hooks created by excellent guitar riffs and solos), “Dead Man’s Land” (their music here shows some touches of NY Thrash Metal School due some arrangements on the guitars and backing vocals), “Passive Aggression” (this song is filled with excellent hooks, it’s impossible to resist to its bitterness and weight, and good vocals can be heard), and “Somewhere Past the Burning Sun” to check their talent and potential.

For now, “Passive Aggression” is really an excellent album and a very good experience for Thrash Metal maniacs. But AMKEN has more aces up the band’s sleeve to be used in the future.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Underdogs
2. I Am the One
3. Dead Man’s Land
4. The Li(f)e We Lead
5. Passive Aggression
6. Bliss
7. We Came from Nothing
8. Somewhere Past the Burning Sun
Giannis Karakoulias - Vocals, Guitars
Vanias Apostolopoulos - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Dionisis Kiamos - Bass
Harris Zampoukos - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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