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Revelator is the fourth album from Australian death metal band The Amenta. It arrives seven years after Flesh Is Heir and it has been worth the wait. The Amenta have been ambitious with their intentions on Revelator and have executed it convincingly and uncompromisingly.
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Revelator opens with its two singles, An Epoch Ellipsis and Sere Money, which immediately showcase two of the significant sonic developments embraced on this album by The Amenta. An Epoch Ellipsis is jarring and heavy in a recognisably extreme-death metal way, but features a haunting blend of Cain Cressall’s clean and harsh vocals, the former of which are far more pronounced on Revelator than previous albums. Far from softening the sound, this has the effect of deepening The Amenta’s tendency towards eeriness, while rendering emotional expression multidimensional and more resonant, often in a discomforting way. The clean vocals on the mid-paced track Sere Money are used to great immersive effect. Overall, at the outset, The Amenta’s sound has expanded, and is scratching on cinematic in scope.
The Amenta have been consistently ready to embrace change with each album and Revelator is no exception. The third track Silent Twin continues to twist the tale, with the brooding turbulence of acoustic stormy-blues guitar. While this is an abruptly new element, it is perfectly placed and incorporated; one of many indicators that the overall craftsmanship of this album is subtly brilliant. For those who need the gutturals and blasting, however, the violently ghoulish track Psoriastatis delivers this at premium standard.
Revelator is all the things death metal of this deranged strain can be: haunting, sternum-rattling, challenging, exhausting, and, ultimately, consuming.
The midsection of Revelator is where The Amenta really dial up the full extent of seven years’ worth of creating new songs. The complexity and density of where their sound is at finds form in the seven-minute track Twined Towers. Thunderingly hypnotic at times, discordantly atmospheric at others, this track is laden with intriguing lyrical symbolism that reveals more layers of meaning with each listen. Musically, Parasight Lost is a captivating track. Its general characteristic is a kind of hectic blackened death metal. Despite its chaotic griminess, however, it paradoxically has latent groove, a feature of David Haley’s drumming style. Alongside the rancid screams, the percussion cameo is unnervingly primal. The latter tracks on Revelator sustain the intensity of the album. Following a desolate interlude in Wonderlost, Overpast fires up the speed again with a tough and wretched species of death metal, before the album closes with the most depraved of its tracks, Parse Over. Both satisfyingly heavy and darkly sketchy, Parse Over builds up into a powerful, profoundly unsettling finale. Revelator is all the things death metal of this deranged strain can be: haunting, sternum-rattling, challenging, exhausting, and, ultimately, consuming. It is a glorious reminder that even, and perhaps especially, in its extremes, death metal can be a diverse experience when in the hands of innovative instrumentalists.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Silent Twin, Parasight Lost, Overpast
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