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Amplifier: Echo Street

Manchester trio pave their progressive path with gold

After three previous albums, Manchester’s Amplifer have finally found their stride and range. Taking cues from Porcupine Tree and Hawkwind, they have fashioned a series of soundscapes that draw in melody, improvisation and power.

Listen to the way The Wheel gradually builds from introspection to full on diatribe and you’ll know you’re in the presence of a band who appreciate and understand the art of creating timeless music. Each track on Echo Street is a symphony in its own right, with so much happening that it’s impossible to take it all on with one cursory play – and every time you go back to the well, you’ll discover something fresh and vast.

There are the delicate harmonies on the title track, almost reminiscent of Pink Floyd. There are the chiming, ominous rhythms on Extra Vehicular. There’s the graceful, acoustic symmetry of Between Today And Yesterday. Echo Street is a superb work that will propel Amplifier right into the spotlight as among the brightest and most inventive of all current British bands.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.