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Amon Ra - In The Company Of The Gods (Reissue)

Amon Ra
In The Company Of The Gods (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 18 March 2013, 5:17 PM

I seem to be having something with multiple gods oriented albums because I just reviewed a release following the same mystical theme. This time I came across a band that has been living it up focusing on the Egyptian high heaven rulers than the rest of the chaps up stairs of other peoples. However, the thing is that this is not a new band, nor did I find any actual connection to Egyptian culture within their material, expect for the great looking artwork on display. The US Metal act AMON-RA, sadly a short lived bystander in what was the crumbling US Metal scene of the early 90s, right before the great decline. Probably the band’s most significant figure was Byron Nemeth, the band’s sole guitarist, continuing his work after the closure of his early band SACRED HEART. AMON-RA, unlike their description as a Heavy / Power Metal entity, sounded rather different judging by their singular creation, “In The Company Of The Gods”, originally released back in 1992 as an independent released now reissued by Pure Underground Records. Before I gutting this one out, think about a keyboard induced mid-80s Heavy Metal with bits of AOR and goblets of Hard Rock. After nearly twenty one years, this one still sounds old, yet not that exciting nor impressive.

Within “In The Company Of The Gods”, both original tracklist and the four bonus added tracks, nothing is pristine. Actually, there were more faults and misgivings than positive points. Stuff like singing out of sync (off key), low level production values, too much mid-80s EUROPE keyboards ducking the guitar, uninspired songwriting leading to average type songs such as “Middleground”, “As The Mirror Cracks”, “Gates Of Eden” and “Graveyard of the Dragon” to name a few. Probably the only shine beacon of this entire production has been the guitar playing. Byron Nemeth, while not being a member of the sometimes overrated shredders’ club, is a terrific lead guitarist. His contribution attributed with great solo exports and ample guitar rhythms. Along with where the band acted accordingly to his actions, AMON-RA came around with a several crunchy songs as the semi ballad effort of “When the Glitter Fades Away”, “On the Shore”, nice ballad “Forever” and the instrumental short delight of “Season's of May”. These songs proved than AMON-RA had it in them to form well-made Metal, but maybe it wasn’t their time yet to head out booming.

I believe that there should be a massive reissue on plenty of 80s or early 90s releases, whether good or bad, as those bands, may those be the short lived ones or the long standing, should be recognized by the worldwide Metal scene. History counts. Thanks to Pure Steel Records for time and time again making sure that the world will learn. Furthermore, why not have a chance to listen to extra bonus tracks that some have never been released before? In the case of AMON-RA, though “In The Company Of The Gods” was far from being an notable album, folks can learn what not to do or how to perfect themselves or if you would really like to have a positive side in all this, there is a chance to follow a path that is worthy taking as this band had a potential to turn up with a second release that might have corrected the impression from the debut.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro Into Infinity
2. Graveyard of the Dragon
3. Forever
4. Middleground
5. Season's of May (Instrumental)
6. When the Glitter Fades Away
7. Cloak and Dagger
8. As The Mirror Cracks
9. Garden of Eden
10. On the Shore
11. She’s my Lady
12. Long Overdue (Live)
Ken Dugan – Bass
Kris Dugan – Drums
Byron Nemeth – Guitar
Jimm Motyka – Keyboards
Dan Mattingly – Vocals
Record Label: Pure Underground Records


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