Metal Blade/Blackend

Most black metal may be bewilderingly harsh and blindingly furious to the uninitiated, but few bands in the genre possess the palpitating emotion which should lie at its core. Sure, “emotion” may sound like a namby-pamby term in the context of, arguably, the most extreme form of music, but at the end of the day, something more is needed to extend such fare beyond mere blastbeats, fuzz, and screams.

One such record that accomplishes that is Amduscias’ eponymous debut. Clocking in at almost a half-hour, Amduscias ‘s six songs ensnare the soul in a grimy, black cloud, the Japanese trio thoroughly mesmerizing with cyclic tremeloed riffs and tornado tempos, both of which tinker with the trance by shifting oh-so-subtly. Coupled with the sorrowful melodies, bassist Ryuichi’s screeches (a bit more snarling, actually – comparable to Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto) seethe with just as much poignancy, pushing the record beyond ineffectual evil-and-hatred-set-to-the-sound-of-a-vacuum-cleaner. And though Kendi Kikuchi’s production floods the proceedings in treble ‘n distortion, Amduscias is that much better for it, rendering itself more otherworldly, the emotion and intensity more pronounced.

Metal Blade Records, 2828 Cochran St., Suite 302, Simi Valley, CA 93065-2793;

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