Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amebix - "Redux" (2010) [Profane Existance]

Amebix, after about 20 years of inactivity, are back and rerecording four of their classic tracks. Most people would be afraid of a move like this, but as the band tests the waters on the Redux EP, it is painfully clear that they still have all the power they did originally. Dare I say, I actually prefer these recordings to the original. I think that the slicker production adds to their sound.
The EP starts out with “Progress,” which begins with some gutteral growls and guitar riffs that seem a throwback to the early days of the band. A touch of keyboard augments the transitions in the song’s structure. Most people would shudder at the thought of it, but the keybaord just plays a drone every now and then, which actually helps the song move along. Nothing too complex. The next track, “Chain Reaction,” is a bit slower of a song, but the kick drum is livelier, and the Baron’s voice here sounds oddly like Lemmy of Motorhead. Not that it’s a bad thing. Amebix is not Motorhead, and they damn well know it. The song employs greater use of keys, which adds an ominous tone to it, but it seemed to drag to me.  
The next track, “Winter,” is originally a very early song from the band’s history, and it got a major makeover on this recording. This version seems a lot more dynamic, which works in its favor. The production, keyboard drone, and steady beat under raspy yells paint a bleak picture of a cold wasteland. Fucking epic, in a word. It’s nice to see the band go so far back into their history and still be able to make great songs better. Finally, the closer of the track is the title track from the first album “Arise.” Almost 7 minutes, this is the longest song on the EP. It chugs along with plenty of momentum, just like the original recording. Notable here is the baance between the guitar and the bass. Thanks to the slicker production, each part sticks out more in the mix, and gives a better picture of the entire song.
Amebix’s Redux EP is certainly a promising offering. If this is the direction they take after 20 years, I am excited. My only complaint is that despite being an epic listen, a few minutes could have been shaved off here and there. I’m not used to seven minute songs.  Despite that, this is definately something that should be picked up by both Amebix fans and general crust fans.

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