I always find the music from Australia has an interesting edge to it, and include extreme industrial death Metal five piece The Amentia in this statement, having first crossed paths very favourably with the band when they opened for Deicide last year.
They describe their sound as, "An amalgam of the extremes of musical expression. Combining the uglier aspects of modern black Metal, the atonality of death Metal, the grit and grime of extreme industrial and dub wise, ambient Electronica", a pretty accurate description.
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As a precursor to their forthcoming album, 'Flesh Is Heir', due out in 2013, they have released a five track EP, 'Chokehold'. This EP, a digital release, serves as both a useful introduction for new listeners to the band and a means to satiate the hunger of current fans, consisting of two new tracks, a remix and two live tracks.
The first new offering, title and opening track 'Chokehold', barges into your attention in an abrasive way, yet has such a catchy appeal in the repeat patterns from distorted guitars, complemented with sonic keyboards and overlaid with harsh and distorted vocals, beautifully sinister, harsh and intense, an impressive opener to the EP.
The second new track, 'Christ Bait', is a cover of Godflesh's classic 1998 track and unusually for me, I like it better than the original. This is a very good cover and more than does the original justice, with a modern approach, better production and sound quality and with much more depth of sound also.
Both of these tracks were influenced by and recorded as a modern take on the Godflesh influential 'Street Cleaner' album.
The next track is 'VO1D' (remix), which was the new track on the EP of the same name, released last year and first to feature the vocal talents of Cain Cressall, who despite the harshness of his vocal style, executes the lyrics are in a clear manner, another good track.
The final two tracks, 'Sekem' from their 'Occasus' album and 'Vermin', from their 'N0N' album, are live recordings from the band's 2011 'VO1D' Australian Tour. Although the sound drops away a little on the live segment compared to the studio segment, these tracks demonstrate that the band can certainly, as I found out when I saw them, 'cut it' live.
I really enjoyed listening to this EP and suspect that I will continue to listen for a considerable time to come; it certainly will keep fans happy until the release of 'Flesh Is Heir', sometime around March 2013.
The 'Chokehold' EP is available from iTunes.