Australia’s metal scene might be getting all the props right now, but arguably the country’s most ambitious sounding band have been pummelling eardrums and expanding minds since 2002.
Based in Sydney, The Amenta’s industrial-laced and expansive take on death and black metal has flown under the radar of late only because it’s been seven years since their last album, Flesh Is Heir, but if their forthcoming, aptly titled fourth full-length, Revelator, due out on February 19 via Debemur Morti Productions, that time has been well spent.
Peeling back some of the industrial elements, yet broader in scope than ever before, Revelator has a furious, progressive bent whose apocalyptic-sermon vocals courtesy of frontman Cain Cressall, fearlessly multi-directional instrumentation yet knack for the kind of hook a Cenobite would raise a stitched eyelid to, all give the album the kind of charged, cinematic quality that often brings to mind a very non-contemplative Ihsahn.
The band are announcing the album’s arrival in fittingly imaginative style with a supremely creepy, lockdown-filmed video for the track Sere Money. Based on a concept of “the transmutation of suffering into deeper levels of consciousness”, it’s a luridly dream-like experience, featuring creepily masked ballerinas, creepily masked bandmembers, poor dental health, and PHOBIA WARNING, a fair few maggots to boot.
“Sere Money is the first sign of our comeback,” say Cain, “and the main reason [we chose this song] was its cinematic, infectious energy which pulses throughout the track. It has a very strong ‘visual’ element that inspires the imagination and takes the listener on a ride. The opening hook grabs you by the throat takes you on a descent into deeper and deeper levels of cathartic discomfort. That ‘grab-factor’ just seemed to appeal to all of us as a great way to introduce our new sound to our listeners.”
“It has an immediacy that we thought would make people sit up and take notice,” says keyboardist and lyricist Timothy Pope.” We also wanted to come back from our long hiatus with something that was unusual, to show people that things have changed for the band. As well as our usual blasting, ugly, noisy death metal, there are a lot of strange twists and turns on Revelator that we wanted to introduce people to piece by piece. Sere Money is a great illustrator of this as it starts almost in a rock mode, with a clear groove but it also, over the course of the song, devolves until by the end it is a droning noisy cacophony. Not only is this theme across the album, it also shows various modes of the album in the one song. From an atmospheric sense, Revelator is a very dark and tense album, but we achieve that tension in a variety of ways. Sere Money is probably the most immediate way we try to communicate this tension.”
Sere Money may be the stuff of nightmares, but visually and sonically, it’s an exhilarating sensory overload, and a harbinger for an album that’s going to add a host of exotic new locations to the metal map.