The Amenta – V01d (2011)

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Music

Cain Cressall is a genius. Let’s just get that out of the way right off the bat. As a musician, a producer, a programmer and a writer – everything he does comes off in such a beautiful and complicated manner that you are blown away. Music for the sake of “art” is far better than music done for money or labels.

As lead writer/singer for the band The Amenta. Cressall has shared his talent with the world to media acclaim and garnered the respect of his peers in the music community. A brash mix of industrial sounds with extreme death metal forms an eclectic assault of the senses.

The Amenta’s last CD, nOn, was one of the better works of 2009. Critics lauded its unique sound and artistic mastery, finally making a name for The Amenta in extreme metal circles. It was with much anticipation that I gave their newest release “V01D” the nutwork challenge.

Filled with the buzz and feedback the normal industrial album starts off with, I was immediately put off. I’ve heard this type of “epic” intro hundreds of time, and frankly, I expected something better. The next track “v01d” was solid, but then came 30 minutes of scratching my head.

Don’t get me wrong – this is a decent album. The problem I have is that we (or at least “I”) can’t seem to figure out what sound this band is trying to embrace. They are at their best when playing extreme metal with industrial influences – such as the tracks “v01d,” “Junky,” and “Vermin.” The sound reminds me of old Behemoth – which is a huge compliment.

Too many times, though, this album loses steam. And it does so with Cressall channeling his inner-Trent Reznor by bleeping and blooping the mix like he just learned ProTools. At times, it’s interesting – but there is far too much of it on this album. I’m all for the art of industrial music, but when it’s done in this fashion, it just comes across as pompous. It’s a disservice to the listener to fill half of an album with the space noise some consider edgy – at least from this band.

What saves this album for me is that when it’s good – it’s brilliant. Several of the tracks are easily the best thing this band has ever created – which is probably enough to keep them ahead of the rest of the bands in the genre. Let’s just hope they lose the Jeckyll/Hyde personality soon before they lose what dedicated followers (myself included) they have…

01. Empty (0:42)
02. V01d (5:19)
03. Erebus (4:07)
04. Ache (3:45)
05. Junky (4:50)
06. Spine (3:59)
07. Null (2:52)
08. Vermin (4:10)
09. Nihil (5:24)
10. Nil (3:19)
11. Enigmatize (4:20)
12. None (3:16)
13. Junky (Remix) (3:08)
14. Nihil (Remix) (3:21)
15. Vermin (Remix) (2:56)
16. Erebus (Remix) (3:18)

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