Eight years is a fairly long stretch for any band to remain silent, but The Amenta have never seemed to follow the usual protocols. When the Australians first emerged with the furious futurism of 2004’s Occasus, this kind of mainframes-to-the-wall, dystopian extremity was a startling bolt from the blue(tooth). With that in mind, it’s remarkable how vital and timeless The Amenta still sound. Revelator updates and upgrades the brutal grandeur of previous releases and plunges the end result into a dense fog of formless sonic malevolence. This is industrial metal, but dragged frothing and prolapsing into this most dreadful of all predicted futures.
For those hoping for plenty of all-out blasting and the sound of technology noisily eating itself, Revelator delivers. The Amenta blur the lines between black metal, cyber-grind, industrial and gothic doom with rabid enthusiasm, so that even the most straightforwardly destructive songs exude character and intrigue. Opener An Epoch Ellipsis is a particularly crushing opening salvo, wherein the Aussies tear the roof off with a Septicflesh-like flourish, but with the bleak rattle of robot drums severing all ties with humanity. Psoriastasis is even more punishing, with brief bursts of hissing synth and a thuggish, mid-song breakdown that leavens an otherwise unrelenting sonic assault.
The most powerful moments come when The Amenta subvert their own formula. The unsettling Silent Twin offers acoustic guitars, frazzled ambient noise and an unusually nuanced and restrained vocal from frontman Cain Cressall; Parasight Lost cranks up the industrial clatter, the beats edging towards grinding, Godflesh territory, as maxed-out vocals battle with a gobsmacking wall of corrosive, mutant guitars. Most startling of all, the eight-minute Twined Towers sounds like some barbarous out-take from Ministry’s Filth Pig, but filtered through another 25 years of brute force and cruelty. Evolution doesn’t always work out well for mankind, but the soundtrack is killer.