[photo by Josh Fields]
Rochester, Minnesota-based progressive black metal collective AMIENSUS will unleash their anticipated Abreaction full-length October 2nd via their new label home of Transcending Records. Mixed and mastered by French-Canadian acoustic guitarist Antoine Dufour, Abreaction is an amalgamation of all AMIENSUS material to date — the vastly acclaimed melody of 2013’s Restoration, the progressive highs of 2015’s Ascension, and the brain scrambling heaviness of 2017’s All Paths Lead to Death — rolled into one, fifty-five-minute attack on the listener’s perception of heavy metal. The concept of Abreaction pertains directly to the name of the album – that is, the expression and emotional discharge of repressed emotion. Notes lead vocalist/guitarist James Benson (also of Chrome Waves), “This record is the first full-length album written from the perspective of a band that knows how to tour and play together. Previous records were written before we began playing live or touring. The culmination of strong songwriting and the mixing and mastering from one of my idols, Antoine Dufour, presents what I view as our strongest album to date. The power of this album comes from our desire to unite our strengths in many genres while keeping to our roots of black metal.” In advance of the release of Abreaction, the band recently issued two new tracks, “Drowned” and “A Convocation Of Spirits,” for public feasting. “‘Drowned’ is the expression of progressive and melodic music found on both the band’s first two LPs,” notes Benson. “Brutal, progressive, and melodic describe this single more than anything before. Channeling influences like Agalloch, Slowdive, and Green Carnation, ‘A Convocation Of Spirits’ is mystifying, featuring anguished harsh vocals, lush cello, twelve-string acoustic guitar, and Zeppelin-esque clean parts while remaining firmly rooted in atmospheric black metal.” Stream both tracks at THIS LOCATION.
AMIENSUS’ Abreaction will be released on CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital formats.
Forged in 2010, AMIENSUS has been releasing diverse albums spanning multiple genres. 2013’s Restoration was an atmospheric black metal must-have while its followup, 2015’s Ascension, was a well-received and well-polished continuation, exploring even more stylistically soft and heavy musical avenues. 2017 brought with it lengthy EP, All Paths Lead To Death, which saw the band drop some of the heavy orchestration in favor of more melodic death and black metal passages. Since the release of their first album, AMIENSUS has embarked on international tours with the likes of Ashbringer, Wolvhammer, and Abigail Williams.
The young but experienced group now enters their tenth year as a band, and with the tools and skills to change their sound on a whim. “The mood on ‘Drowned’ is that of awe and subservience to forces greater than any one person can restrain — the song relishes in its own gradual build as well as the smooth delivery of clean vocals to counterpoint the harsh ones. AMIENSUS teeters carefully on the balances created by such contrasts, as they always have, but now see increased cohesion and more delicate songwriting.” – Invisible Oranges on “Drowned””Undeniably heavy and hammering, the song is also panoramic and entrancing.
And it’s not entirely electrified – the band have included acoustic guitar and cello melodies in ways that will be familiar from the previous version of the song, combining them with the punch of the drumming and the wrenching intensity of the shrieking vocals…” – No Clean Singing on “A Convocation Of Spirits”
James Benson – lead vocals, guitar Alec Rozsa – guitars, vocals, keyboards D. Todd Farnham – bassKelsey Roe – guitar Chris Piette – drums