May 2015, W.T.C. Productions
10/10 – Susanne Sinmara
I was stupidly excited to hear that there is going to be a new album of AMESTIGON, one of the most underrated Austrian bands out there. They’ve been going since the mid-nineties, having been snapped up by Napalm Records for their split with Angizia in 1996 – back then Napalm Records was a small Austrian label with excellent music taste, nowadays more associated with bands like Alestorm, or Gloryhammer. Back then, when I was a wee mid-teen, any of the on A5 paper copied catalogues by Napalm Records were studied over and over again, and LP’s and CD’s were often bought blindly (pre-internet times…) and I had to rely on tape trading to get to know new music.
Anyway, back to AMESTIGON and their new album, Thier. The Napalm Records collaboration didn’t last long, AMESTIGON disbanded after a couple of years, but started making music again with a slightly changed lineup – Silenius came and joined on vocals and Thurisaz left for Abigor. They released the mighty Sun Of All Suns album in 2010 on Hau Ruck! label (more commonly associated with martial and neofolk music, further proof how the Austrian neofolk/martial scene is interwoven with the black metal scene. Silenius other band, apart from Summoning, is the excellent Kreuzweg OST).
AMESTIGON have now returned with a brand new album, Thier, released on World Terror Committee. And what an album it is! It’s a step up from Sun Of All Suns, more intense, complex, more thought out and with a fuller production that brings out the sinister elements.
The first song on the album, Demiurg, is arguable the most catchy song on the album, with its ‘Thier, Thier!’ shouts and the clean vocals in some parts. As with all the other 3 songs on the album, it is over 10 minutes long. The next song, 358, has a slight film noir feeling. It is oppressing, progressive in its slow parts, with a haunting melody and samples.
The title song starts off with a slow, brooding beat, crushing in its intensity and supported by Silenius’ angry vocals. The melodies carry this 20 minute song into even slower parts, before unleashing some fast black metal that won’t leave you for a good while. There’s even space for a guitar solo, another very slow and quiet middle part, leading into another black metal frenzy, with vocals that remind me of the first Lantlos album.
The last song, Hochpolung, again starting off slowly, plays with various vocal styles and pounding drums, riffs that push the song further into intensity, faster, more urgent and frenzied. A worthy ending of a rather spectacular album. If this album doesn’t put the band into a broader spotlight, nothing will.