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Amken - Theater Of The Absurd

Theater Of The Absurd
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 May 2017, 7:50 AM

Has the Thrash Metal genre enjoyed a resurgence as of lately, or did it never really go away? I’ll let you decide that. In either case, the roots of the genre lie in the “Bay Area” of California with those infamous bands that we all know the names of. It began as a sort of “fuck you” to the Glam genre that was arising at the time in the more “glamorous” area of Log Angeles, California. Thrash was more of a speeded up, bare bones sort of Metal that was meant to be loud, brutal, fast and in your face. The trio AMKEN pay tribute to their forefathers, hailing from Athens, Formed in 2011. “Theater Of The Absurd” is the band’s debut full-length album, and contains eight tracks.

Some of the Thrash resurgence I have heard is good, and others, well, not so good. The tricky part about this genre is that many fans have come to expect a certain pure and somewhat narrow sound that they do not like deviation from. However, in order for new bands in this genre to not be culpable for being repetitive, they must establish themselves as something off the beaten path, and with their own personality. How do AMKEN and their debut “Theater Of The Absurd” fair in this regard? Not bad, actually. They play a speedy, powerful and angry form of Thrash Metal that, while it has roots in the creators of the genre, is tinged with more angst and with a more lively sound than some of their counterparts. Riff changes abound, while staying centrally grounded to the individual sound that each track has to offer.

Some of the finer moments on the album include the furious vocals in the title track, and the evil sound created by the guitars. They also do a nice job of moving the track forward with meter changes so they sound stays fresh. Other moments include the sound of utter despair in the track “Obedient Dogs,” where the riff jumps up and down the scale, the gut-wrenching rhythm in “Soul’s Crypt,” where the minor notes keep the song embedded in the realm of the dead, the slow, tortuous death that awaits you in “Sacred Machine,” where the vocal screams could wake the dead, and I would love to know the meaning behind the title of the closing song, “Addicted to Green.”

All in all, “Theater Of The Absurd” is steeped in the tradition of the long-running Thrash Metal genre that should be pleasing to purists of this style. It doesn’t venture out of the borders much, which is fine, but could benefit from some more personality:

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Shattered Sanity
2. Theater Of The Absurd
3. D.A.P.
4. Obedient Dogs
5. Wired
6. Soul’s Crypt
7. Sacred Machine
8. Addicted To Green
Vanias A. – Vocals, Guitars
Giannis K. – Guitars
Harris Z. – Drums
Record Label: No Remorse Records


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