Amarionette: Amarionette Reviewed

I really want to get back into a habit of reviewing mostly less-known bands. It just seems pointless to repeat reviews of bands that you can find all over the internet. The point of this blog should be to help people find things they couldn’t find elsewhere. A quick search confirms that it is hard to find a review of this album (if one even exists somewhere).

This band is extremely similar to 22 in my mind (“Screaming is Serious Business Pt II” could be lifted right off that album). They are a little darker and have a sort of indie/emo rock vibe to them. But apart from that difference, they write some heavy songs with a pop sensibility. The bass usually has a funky groove to it and the rhythm guitar chugs out some strange complicated rhythms.

There is quite a bit of melody in the vocals. Although these melodies are catchy enough to get stuck in your head, they don’t write overly simple cliched “hooks.” Melodies are allowed to wander all over the place which keeps things interesting, and there’s a lot of difficult intervallic jumping as opposed to typical stepwise motion. To me, it strikes just the right balance. Not too simple, but still catchy.

This album may not be heavy or abstract enough for some readers. Some of the songs could even be described as beautiful ballads (see “Over Under and Around the Game” one of the gems of the album if you ask me), but even these have a turmoil boiling under them which explodes at some point into sincere yell-singing with some post-hardcore distortion. I really buy into it and go the distance with them.

Sometimes in metal we get yelling for the sake of yelling or brutal dissonance for its own sake. It is easy to forget that these can also be tools to convey certain emotions. This is what I like about this album. Other than the fact that there’s some fun and technical moments, they craft the songs so that the metal elements are there for a purpose.

The songs fit what the song is about. The two work in conjunction with each other. This is a classically important technique of songwriting, but rare these days. Bands have genres that they fit the song to no matter what the song is about. Amarionette aren’t afraid to let the song dictate what is best.

This album has it all. The band is incredibly talented from a technical standpoint. The album is fun, dark, sad, intense, and even at times jazzy. It cycles you through these with a realness that I haven’t heard in awhile. I think fans of 22 will not be disappointed. Overall I give it an 8.5/10, but depending on how well this stands the test of time I may improve this number.

Here’s a sample (but seriously there’s so much variety that you might want to click through the playlist this comes from even if this one doesn’t do it for you):

7 thoughts on “Amarionette: Amarionette Reviewed

  1. Mitch Stuck says:

    I just discovered your blog and have to say I love it. I discovered your blog while searching for a review of Leprous’ Coal, and your review was awesome. I’m a metal head, but was also a music theory and composition minor prior to med school. Thanks for the review and introducing me to these guys. Having never heard of them before, they instantly reminded me of Circa Survive. It’s pretty uncanny. The guitar work reminds me a bit of the open string techniques of Don Caballero. Maybe I didn’t search your blog properly, but are you familiar with “Botch – We Are the Romans”, “Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come” or the above mentioned bands? If not, I think you might like them. I also want to thank you for introducing me to Mombu, Arno Strobl, and Combat Astronomy. Awesome awesome stuff.

  2. Mitch Stuck says:

    I would also be remiss to not include Gorod – A Perfect Absolution.

  3. Mitch Stuck says:

    And Blotted Science – Machinations of Dementia. I hope I don’t come off as spamming your blog, but I don’t see a way to edit my prior post into a more concise one. (Perhaps you’re already aware of these bands, but the search function didn’t report any results on these artists),

    • hilbertthm90 says:

      Thanks for the recommendations!! I think in one of my first posts I point out that I have been a very casual listener of some metal for awhile (mainly when my one friend into metal would tell me to get something every couple of months). It was only a little more than a year ago that I really got into it realizing that there is sooo much good stuff out there.

      So I basically haven’t heard any of the stuff you pointed me to. It is very difficult to try to keep up with current reviews and fill in my back knowledge at the same time, but I’m getting there. Whenever I see current band interviews talk about their influences or get recommendations here I go listen.

      Thanks again!

  4. Mitch Stuck says:

    It seems we appreciate similar music. If I could recommend only one band for you to check out, it would be Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Check out the songs Phthisis and Sleep is Wrong to get a really good introduction to what they do. They are loosely in the metal category, but that is just one aspect of what they do. You’ll hear Bartok like melodies, Ligeti like tone masses, lots of hemiola, modal melodies, odd time signatures, etc. They are definitely one of my favorite bands of all time. In regards to Blotted Science, you may be interested in seeing how Rob approaches his compositions. He goes into detail about how he uses tone rows as a compositional tool.

    I’ll continue to follow your blog and hopefully we can share some music along the way! Peace,

    • hilbertthm90 says:

      Oh yeah. I love SGM. That was one of the two bands that I would constantly talk about with my friend. The other was Time of Orchids. I can honestly say they were the only band I’ve ever been really sad to see break up. I had forgotten about SGM and haven’t checked for a long time if they have anything new.

  5. ddos vps says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!|

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