Written by Carcassbomb
The Amenta – Revelator
Avant garde/Industrial/Black Death from Sydney, Australia
Released February 16th, 2021
The pre-release promotion on this one was immense and filled with a curious dark aesthetic, so I am quite excited to delve into this return LP, the Revelator from Australian big boys The Amenta. They did a promotional thing that is right up there on my list of favorite things bands have done, they gave away a haunting full mask of the lead singer’s visage, very cool memorabilia unique to the band.
I’ll admit that I’m pretty new to The Amenta, if I listened to them in the past it was a long time ago when I was a teen that I often heard their name in the local metal scene. I didn’t really know what to expect, perhaps something along the lines of The Bezerker style hyper-fast brutality because my brain is only capable of word and location association sometimes. What I got was something to chew on for a while, something expansive and thoughtful. It’s meaty, atmospheric and well presented. There are bits of industrial, doom, death, black, post and even some nu-metal (Please don’t hate me). You name it and it’s probably in here in some way or close enough, and yet the whole experience feels fluid and cohesive rather than mix-matched like many avant-garde artists tend to do. There’s so much more going on that I will surely uncover over time and some that just isn’t in my frame of reference. Many people will have their own distinct experience with Revelator.
Revelator displays a huge variety written in a compacted way that never feels like a distraction or gimmick. Vocally it resonates powerfully, with various singing and screaming that hits on every technique and style imaginable, sometimes sounding like Cult Of Luna or the odd croon that would fit right in with Faith No More, and then there’s the thrashier death growling and blackened shrieking. Whatever the instruments are doing, be it the lamenting melody or absolutely hammering on drums, the vocalist Cain Cressall will find the right sound to match and accentuate the moment, doing so masterfully. None of the performances feel weak or forced, he’s really just an incredibly rounded vocalist.
It’s a full experience with some big tracks, it’s definitely one to listen to as a full album as it really keeps a consistent and addictive mood that’s always traveling and spiraling, it has great momentum. On every level, The Amenta have used their decades of experience to carefully consider each aspect of the album from visuals and sounds to the lyrics and promotion. They refer to themselves as “maximalist” and I love that term, it definitely fits here with how cinematic it sounds. A lot of work went into the production as well, using various extra elements to grant additional texture the sound and really thicken the atmosphere. Overproduction can be a problem with many bands, particularly with more straightforward black and death bands, but when someone actually uses large-scale production to help contribute to the story of the album such as The Amenta have, then I’m all for it.
Lyrically it’s a lot, they’re basically poems turned into songs with how cryptic and referential they are. Very well-written and formatted verses that feel relatable in a weird way even if you have no idea what the hell they’re actually about. You can research the references within the lyrics like “Kali Yuga” as a start. The band also retweeted some Twin Peaks content, not sure if it’s an influence lyrically but I can tell they dig it on a creepy aesthetic kind of level, and regular readers might know how obsessed I am with the lore and theory of Twin Peaks. I love the conceptual and provactive nature of the album art as well, everything about this album is just so punchy and worth consideration. The cleaner acoustic aspects blend it all together fantastically without ever being overbearing, just the right volume and duration.
Hopefully, this return from a seven-year hiatus is a long-term thing because I’d love to get more of this in the future, I’d be curious to see what kind of changes or concepts take place. The Amenta are just one of those interesting bands that you want to keep an eye on because they’re doing shit a little bit differently from the rest of the metal scene. I’ll definitely be digging into the backlog to see how they arrived at this point. I just saw on their Bandcamp they have a cassette release for this and I hope they last long enough for me to get one because I NEED IT in my collection. Not enough new releases come with a cassette release these days.