The riffs are taut, the fuzz is well and truly brought, and it’s a hell …
Aussie heroes The Amity Affliction are no strangers to hard-hitting narratives and tunes since forming two decades ago. A band of ever-oscillating styles and intimate lyricism, 2023 finds the band returning to their heaving best, ferociously armed with their self-produced eighth studio album Not Without My Ghosts.
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Erupting from a glistening, muddied piano intro alongside the whispered lyrics “Show Me Your God” into beautifully tumultuous blast beats and sprawling synths, Not Without My Ghosts hits a high straight outta the gate via opening track Show Me Your God.
With powerhouse outings from vocalist Joel Birch and clean vocalist Ahren Stringer, Show Me Your God is all melodics and throwback Amity heaviness, with lyrics firmly focused on varying versions of grief. Next up, It’s Hell Down Here goes full Amity battering ram with looming basslines, thunderous drums and a heart-wrenching take on losing loved ones along the way. Whether flexing monstrous arrangements (Fade Away), towering grit merged with swaying melodics (The Big Sleep), lucid metalcore beauty (Close To Me) or ethereal anthems loaded with emotives and fluctuating angst (Ghost), Amity only seem to grow in ferocity and tenacity with each passing track across the album’s 10 tracks. With each moment beseeching to be heard live and screamed along to, Not Without My Ghosts also ushers in four powerhouse features, including the sublime addition of Los Angeles artist phem on the album’s stripped-back closing and title track. Also boasting the likes of Comeback Kid’s Andrew Nuefeld on the high-octane Death And The Setting Sun, New Zealand artist Louie Knuxx on the relentlessly riveting I See Dead People, and The Plot In You’s Landon Tewers on When It Rains It Pours, there is never a dull moment throughout Not Without My Ghosts, thriving on its fresher elements alongside notable threads to the behemoth sonic past Amity have in their wake.
The gloves are entirely off and Amity have risen to the occasion to showcase why their impact on the heavy music landscape has permeated for so long.
But it’s also notably on closing track Not Without My Ghosts, alongside the elegant calm added by phem, that Amity unwaveringly prove that they’re more than capable of pleasantly unexpected turns. Ending the album on a reflective note amid melancholic themes, Not Without My Ghosts closes out with catharsis after consistent pummelling; a fact which can’t help but make the overarching heaviness even more potent as the album softly fades into the distance. No doubt about it—The Amity Affliction are well and truly in fine form on album #8, and somehow after 1 billion career streams, countless live shows and multiple releases, the influential Queenslanders have emerged heavier and hungrier than ever before. The gloves are entirely off and Amity have risen to the occasion to showcase why their impact on the heavy music landscape has permeated for so long. From the searingly personal and difficult subject matter to fusing melodic metalcore moments with an iron-clad fist, the end result is one that will delight old fans and inescapably capture a whole new legion for years to come.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Show Me Your God, The Big Sleep, Not Without My Ghosts
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