If anybody tells you that heavy metal is dead, smack them in their god damn face and tell them to actually take a look at the scene. Not even counting the phenomenal albums we had earlier this year from the likes of TWISTED TOWER DIRE, STONECAST, and WARRIOR PATH (and so many others), this month alone is producing some of the best classic metal albums I’ve heard all year. And, taking its place at the top of this list is “The Inevitable War”: AMULET’s second album to date. This riff-heavy honcho simply demands headbanging from its rambling opening drum fills to the final soaring solo in the closer.
This is AMULET’s first album with their new lineup, and it was written with the intent to prove just how refined their metal is. It’d be an understatement to say that they deliver, because they fucking deliver. The mixing couldn’t be better, so we can hear every juicy bassline, but the whole thing is still mastered like a traditional album, which allows them to retain their raw edge while still keeping the band tight and coordinated. Each anthemic chorus hits with a similar impact as classic MANOWAR, and the galloping rhythm section chugs away with the likeness of IRON MAIDEN.
The entire lineup is excellent but the guitarwork stands slightly higher than the rest. There’s not a single riff that isn’t awesome (no, I can’t pick any favourites) and the solos are true old-school facemelters (I can pick a few favourites: “The Satanist” and “Gateway to Hell”). Marek “Heathen” Steven and Nippy “Nip” Blackford immediately make it known that they’re worthy to fight among the mightiest of axemen as they ride upon the backs of their bodacious bandmates into battle.
Now, I bet you’re thinking that all these guys can do is play heavy. And don’t worry; so did I. But, you’ll quickly find that that’s a load of bullshit because the tasty acoustic interlude “La Noche de las Graviotas” gives them a minute to say, “Hey, look, we can be gentle, too!” The and also takes it easier on the final epic, “Roundhead”, which puts a little less emphasis on impact and a little more emphasis on emotion.
Now, despite all of the praise I have for this album, there is one issue. There are a couple lazy melodies, like the ones in ‘Siege Machine’ and ‘Poison Chalice’. This a pretty minor shortcoming when everything else blasting from those songs is fucking sweet, but it’s a shortcoming nonetheless.
Yeah, some issue, right? As if every heavy metal band doesn’t reuse melodies. What a deal breaker. Fuck it. This album is near-perfect. Don’t miss it.
Originally written by Kane for powerthorn.com.