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Amnutseba – Emanatism

by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 16 March 2020, 6:11 AM

AMMUTSEBA is a Maltese black metal band with ambient elements, co-founded by Eldritch, Blutaxt and Sahhar since 2014. Enter the asylum era of the band; Patient Psychosis joined the madness during the band’s early stages making him one of the first songwriters in the band alongside Blutaxt. Later on, Nagelfar joined the horde on guitar and shortly after he became part of the songwriting trio. Unfortunately, due to other commitments Sahhar had to leave the band, leaving the band without a main vocalist for some time. However, contentedly, Alias came along taking Sahhar’s role. Patient Psychosis left in late 2019 due to personal issues. The lyrics are heavily inspired by the Cosmic horrors and nihilism found in Lovecraft’s horror novels, which date back to the early 20th century. The lyrical themes revolve around the fascinating nightmarish creatures, which will disperse the feeble minded in cosmic dread. Although the music is deeply rooted within traditional black metal especially second wave Black Metal, the music also takes influence from dark ambient and atmospheric soundscapes. Songwriting and lyrical content work hand in hand, where no conventional song structures are followed; signifying absolute cosmic chaos.

Abstinence” has an instrumental start to the song that starts slowly, but soon picks up pace. Vocals kick in just after the 1-minute mark. The melodies build up slowly, and vocally are not much more than screams and cries. This is a very 2nd BM wave (as mentioned before) approach to a song. The harmonies break down more than link together, so the balance is a little off, but pretty much what you would expect. The buildup of pace is there in segments, but does not expand in the same way like EMPEROR would have, it’s more structural breakdown, which as it is not distorted, makes it better. The vocals as mentioned before are not easy to follow, however many a BM fan will not care about that. Good start to the album.

Ungrund” continues from where “Abstinence” left off, in fact you may not be aware it is a new song.  The two songs share the same approach, the same raw aggression. The pace has dropped, which allows a balance, of sorts to appear. Vocally, it seems like more mad rants than anything else, which as it is make the song lose its edge a bit for me. The song is very similar to its predecessor. It does not expand greatly until the latter stages of the song. At the end it does allow for a bit more of instrumental experimentation, it adds some more technical harmonies to enter, allowing a new depth into the song, but this should have been a lot sooner. “.” Is a 2-minutre frenzy. Mad muttering from the vocals, met with an Atmospheric serge of instrumentals, in no way balancing another. It is so out of sync from each element that  it makes it work.

Dislumen” goes into the heavier chords, in comparison to what we have heard so far. Vocals are back to their dark, coarse selves. The pace is not up to starting levels in the album, but the balance is stronger. The weird distorted melodies sounds like someone is being chased in an 80’s horror/slasher film. It is just a mashed up melody that has become so experimental that the balance has become lost from the start. A switch was flicked midway into the song and it just went nuts. The vocals have become screams, not in sync with the rest of the harmonies. Keyboards have been introduced to add a new sound to the crazed harmony. Not exactly sure what happened here, or what they were going for.

Tabula” picks up the pace once more, it sounds far more balanced to start the song. The vocals are distorted, but keep well in with the harmonies, so the balance works, somehow. The vocals slow down to allow the song to flow smoother in stages.  The song slows down and gets weirdly progressive.  I cannot work out what they will do next, which is never a bad thing, but there is zero stability. The five songs have the same basic spine as each other, but all go in different directions, so experimental and not repeating an overall approach, which is good, but it is mental. Will be interesting to hear what they do in the future.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Abstinence
2. Ungrund
3. .
4. Dislumen
5. Tabula
Alias - Vocals
Eldritch - Vocals
Blutaxt - Bass Guitar
Nagelfar – Guitars
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 08 December 2022

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