AMKEN – Theater of the Absurd (Album Review)

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If, like me, you thought the only things that came out of Greece were ouzo, Archimedes and the ferry to Lesbos then you will be surprised to learn of Amken, who have just released their first full-length album which follows up 2014’s Adrenaline Shot EP.

Theater of the Absurd is out on No Remorse Records and is the thrashiest of thrash metal imaginable, although with vocals more out of the death metal genre.

The quartet hail from Athens, where they formed in 2011 and since then they have been consistent tourists, gaining fans and experience along the way.

The band comprises of Vanias Apostolopoulos on vocals/guitars, Giannis Karakoulias on guitars, Vasilis Chytiris on bass and Charis Zampoukos on drums.

Theater of the Absurd is not so much an assault on the senses, but a sledgehammer through the brain.

Supersonic riffage is the order of the day throughout the album, ably supported by Gatling gun drums and prominent – often Steve Harris-like – bass.

What sets Theater of the Absurd apart from your usual thrash fayre is the vocal performance of Vanias Apostolopoulos. At no point during the album could Mr. Apostolopoulos be accused of what is traditionally thought of as singing. Vanias’ vocals clearly intend to impart power and threat to the music, which I cannot deny. Shouty doesn’t really come close. Every word is roared individually, as though it is separate from the lyrics as a whole. It really is a matter of personal taste whether you’ll appreciate the vocal style on this record or not.

Away from the vocals, the music has some great riffs to it, fast guitar runs and of course is heavy as.

If you like your thrash with the twist of extreme vocals then this may be the one you’ve been looking for.

BUY: THEATER OF THE ABSURD

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