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Amulet - The Inevitable War

Amulet
The Inevitable War
by Rachel Montgomery at 24 June 2019, 4:30 PM

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal-inspired (NWBHM) band AMULET is going strong after 14 years, with the Big 4 Thrash for some more inspiration, particularly MEGADETH. Founded in 2010 in London, their second studio album “The Inevitable War” has all your favorite elements from the 80's: high, down-tuned guitars, thrashing riffs and a production quality from a time capsule. I can tell from the opening track, “The Satanist”, that this band takes its instrumental cues from MEGADETH and its vocal qualities from Bruce Dickinson of IRON MAIDEN fame. Well, here’s the problem with building your vocals around such an iconic voice: any flaw, any variation from the source is going to be noticed.

Here, vocalist Federico 'Mace' Mazza has a good voice. He sings clearly, on key, and mostly stays in a comfortable range (he gets pitchy in his upper register). However, his projection is missing. Even though he’s not tuned down on production, his voice shrinks to the back. It either needs to be brought up or he needs to work on projecting. I will say this: when he sings softer parts of the song, his voice is beautiful. My favorite track was the third one, “Burning Hammer”. I like the utilization of old-school electronics at the beginning and I love the soaring chorus. Here, the down-tuned guitars work well since this entire song is a stylistic homage to the infamous decade that was the 80's, and it especially shows in the intro. The thematic lyrics are well-written and the guitar solo kicks ass.

Another track to note is “Poison Chalice.” From the screech in the intro to the thrashing outro, the song has nice touches throughout. The repetitive rhythm in the chorus and anthemic guitar riff give the song punch and make it a standout on the album. Other than that, “Call of the Siren” has a wonderful concept and a nice melody change in the middle. However, the vocalist can get pitchy here. “La Noche de Las Gariotas” is a beautiful instrumental track with lovely acoustic guitars and ambiance, and I feel like I’m on a marina listening to a mandolin play. While it feels out of place on the album, it’s a beautiful interlude. Finally, the call and response in “Gateway to Hell” is interesting. The riff reminds me of IRON MAIDEN’s “Two Minutes to Midnight” and the vocalist uses great technique, but like the rest of the album, he needs to project. Overall, the songs have good elements, and in general, the album had some pleasant surprises in it. If you’re into NWBHM and early Thrash, it’s worth checking out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Satanist
2. Shockwave
3. Burning Hammer
4. Call of the Siren
5. El Noche de los Gariotas (Night of the Gulls)
6. Siege Machine
7. Gateway to Hell
8. Poison Chalice
9. Roundhead
Lineup:
Federico 'Mace' Mazza - Vocals
James 'Nippy' Blackford – Lead Guitar
Marek 'Heathen' Steven – Guitar
Sam Mackertich – Bass
Neil Ganesha – Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions
     


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Edited 22 October 2021
 

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