I´ve waited quite a while for this album and now that it´s here – I can´t stop listening to it. This album nails what modern melodic technicality and deathmetal is supposed to be. Fast, blasting and a musical artwork in itself. As you might have guessed by now – this album kicks ass!
As always, let´s take a look at the sound.
The album was mixed in 16th Cellar Studios – if you´ve been in the scene for a while and know a good amount of bands and musicians you´ll probably know what, where and who 16th Cellar Studios is – and that pretty much everything that comes out of those catacombs sounds devastating. “counterweight” is no exception here. The sound is incredibly unique and might throw you off the first time you listen to it. The guitars are a bit muffled and the drums are extremely defined, the vocals are powerful and cut through perfectly. That´s an interesting mixture. Usually I would miss the definition in the guitars with that kind of music but Amoeba managed to really pull this off. The guitars feel like a flowing river rather than a hacksaw – which is awesome because the technical stuff sounds killer that way. It´s really mesmerizing at times. The drums cut perfectly through the mix. Punching bass-drum and a snare that pops pretty good! The cymbals are smooth and just work fine in the background. The bass doesn´t really come through but you can hear it is there – works for me. The vocals are quite powerful as previously mentioned and sound just pissed off. Just the way I like it. The big picture makes the cake here – all these single elements put together work extremely well.
Now lets bite into the actual meat here – the Songwriting.
The obvious first thing to look at are the guitars because we´re dealing with technical death here. The riffing is brilliant and the best way to describe it would be to call it the bastard child of origin and some Necrophagist that was raised in a melodical home by a whitechapel fan. Most of the time the riffs are fast-paced, deep, sawing riffs with some sweet techy parts. Here and there are the occasional rhythm parts that punch you back into full awareness. The only thing that bothers me a bit is the (relative) lack of really iconic parts and riffs – here and there are riffs that get you really excited in your pants – but there should be more of that in an album that gets its power out of exactly this kind of riffing. I can hear that these guys have the potential to write parts that just stay in your head for weeks but they don´t make use of that talent too often and that’s a shame. The drumming is pretty much what you would expect with a release like this – lots of blasts, lots of double-bass, lots small fills. They just deliver. Nothing out of the ordinary – but the again there are only a handful of drummers that really play parts that really amaze me. The vocals are nice even though there are some passages with high-pitched kind of vocals in there that just annoyed the shit out of me – besides those it´s pretty straight forward death metal. Deep, aggressive and pissed off. Basically exactly what you would want with music like this.
What the french quintet delivered here is a great Album with a LOT of potential, a lot of cool riffs and a great atmosphere. Technical Death mixed with melodic parts and some cool rhythm stuff. More iconic parts would have served this CD well but I´m sure these guys will improve on that. And I have to add that this is critique on a high level. A great start into the year! Oh…and did I add that this CD is UP FOR FREE DOWNLOAD? Fuckin A! Awesome move on the bands side!
Written by: Johannes Schmailzl