Amduscias

Amduscias

Blackend / Metal Blade Records, 1999

http://myspace.com/amdusciasblackmetal

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/19/1999

I'm going to say three words I never thought I would use grouped together: Japanese death metal.

While metal has been very popular in the land of the rising sun, very few groups have been able to invade these shores and make any type of impression. While I'm willing to concede I'm forgetting quite a few, the one that comes to mind is Loudness, who did have some success in the States and were not considered a novelty act. And by no means am I suggesting that Japanese bands should stay away from metal; Lord knows I get enough hate mail as it is.

But death metal is one realm that it didn't seem like Japanese bands would ever enter - until now, that is, with the self-titled release from Amduscias. And while the band has learned the lessons of the music well from their predecessors in Europe and Asia (where this genre seems to be more alive), they need to add one more thing to the mix before they're ready to strike: some level of originality.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - vocalist/bassist Ryichi, guitarist Tomoya and drummer Mike I (at least they don't have some caveman-meets-Dante's Inferno names) - follows the traditional format of death metal note for note. Into the pot they throw: blazing rhythm guitar, speed-freak drumming, almost unrecognizable bass work, vocals that alternate between grunts and coherency... been there, done that.

The six songs on Amduscias (which clocks in at around 28 minutes) all follow this format (though I will admit I liked the thunderstorm effects on "The Dragon Domination" - perfect way to end this song!), and all the musicians prove they're technically able to create this music. But what I don't hear is a lot of creativity - the first sign that this is a young, up and coming band. Tracks like "Hell On Earth," "Dominion Of Darkness" and "Blood From Your Heart" all are faithful examples of the genre, but I don't hear any personal signatures in the music - you know, a guitar lick here, creative songwriting there. This, however, may come in time.

The biggest problem that Amduscias is going to face is convincing people that they're serious about being a death metal band. I'll admit that when I first read the bio of this band, my first thought was: "Yeah, right ." I was not prepared to take this band seriously (though I did listen to the disc with an open mind), and they might face the same uphill battle from a fickle audience.

My biggest complaint with this album (besides its brevity) is that it's pretty much standard fare; there's not a lot here to separate this album from the rest of the sea of releases that have been coming to me in the mail. So far, Amduscias has been good for a quick listen (as well as for pissing off the neighbors), but I don't forsee this one becoming a staple of my musical diet.

Amduscias needs to find their own unique niche in an already-crowded genre to stand out. Until then, Amduscias is an album that shows a young band trying to find their foothold, and not doing anything spectacular to draw attention to themselves.

1999 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Blackend / Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Blackend / Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.