Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 3/21/2006
posted on 4/2006 By:
From what I understand this was already released abroad through Spinefarm records, but Candlelight USA has taken it upon themselves to release their new album for its US distribution. Wound Creations was one hell of an album, not only was it an impressively strong debut, but it was undoubtedly one of the death metal highlights of 2004 for me. I was excited as hell for the chance to review their 2006 follow up effort Decrowning. What’s interesting, though this release is undeniably Amoral through and through, the band has moved in a more progressively melodic domain rather than the more brutal direction I would have expected. In all honesty I don’t have to sell Decrowning to you, the music speaks for itself.
Amoral are one hell of an eclectic blend that apparently refuses to be pigeonholed into one particular subgenre of metal dancing around conventional genre boundaries with wicked precision and frightening ability. Some In Flames and Soilwork style melody mixes in undercurrent polyrhythms and technical rhythm work ala perhaps Decapitated that will undoubtedly draw some Meshuggah comparisons on songs like “Drug of Choice”. This might not be the most original combination of ideas, but the way in which Amoral integrates their influences within their own unique style takes talent.
Amoral display an intricate command of technicality that exhibits an equal understanding in both brutality and melody, you have to look no farther than album opener “Showdown” which rips and roars out of the speaker to illustrate this point. The two elements interweave into an inseparable and infectious layered approach of obliterating rhythms and smoothly intelligent leads that make songs like “Decrowning” and “Control Cancer” exceptional listening experiences. Instrumental “Warp” is the softer, progressive death metal experience that Opeth completely failed to deliver on Ghost Reveries, proving time and time again that Amoral is not senseless technical wankery just for its own sake. They make allowances for songs like “Lacrimal Gland” and “Tie Breaker” to still come across as extremely poignant and technical rather than contrived exercises in showmanship.
The most impressive feature of Amoral is that they keep their edge regardless. Niko Kalliojärvi’s slightly unconventional death metal vocal style manages to stay both brutal and visceral without sounding like every other artist. The overwhelming amount of skull splitting guitar riffs like the opening barrage of album closer “Bleeder” pound the listener into submission with extreme proficiency. Silver Ots and Ben Varons guitartone is simply crushing, with the production focusing their efforts into a powerful wall of sound. Karlsson’s drums are too far in the back for my taste, but the man knows when and how to keep Amoral on a focused direction.
In a way, I’m sure both Wound Creations and Decrowning were nothing but the tip of the iceberg for these Helenski natives, and with time, Amoral will grow into a daunting beast to be reckoned with. Personally, I preferred the former to this release even though this one is still sinking into me and I can tell it’ll only grow with time. Either way, I can’t deny the gravity or clout behind Decrowning.
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