AMMONIUM "Act of War"
Ammonium is another fantastic example of the ever growing army of great Russian metal bands. After their debut “The End of Humanity” in 2015 they are back with their second full length called “Act of War”. The first thing that comes to notice after having hit the play button is the nastiness of the music combined with a lot of catchy hooks. The overall sound reminds of old school death metal bands from Sweden, UK or the Netherlands but somehow Ammonium managed to incorporate an extra portion of directness. The guitars are a tad more down-tuned, the bass is rumbling just a bit more than usual and the drum recording is totally on point and has an immense punch. Listening to “Act of War” feels a bit like the musical equivalent of smelling the stench of a rotting corpse but at the same time it is just plain fun. While the trademark chords are nothing new the two guitarist are churning them out with so much energy that the album sounds totally fresh. There a lot of big harmonies lending the music a bit of a melodic death metal edge but overall the Russian crew sticks to more traditional role models like Grave or Sinister. Blast-beats are also thrown in for good measure ramping up the intensity of certain sections but after such moments the groove is always returning. The songwriting is based on the variation of those elements and the impact the transition between the various parts has on the listener. Guitarists Evgeny and Roman are churning out a lot of those traditional heavy and often stoic riffs we are all used to. The drums and the bass keep the rhythm tight and the listener starts to feel comfortable. And then there are those outbursts with blast-beats and short but sick and incredibly well played solo sections. I would not call this parts technical death metal but there is some instrumental prowess on offer here. When the organized and more simple structure of the track and the trademark riffs return the listener gets a feeling of release. There is also put a lot of emphasis on atmosphere with all those eerie tones and harmonies implemented into the music. Adding to this evil soundscape are the vocals that are done by guitarist Evgeny. His deep growling seems less nervous and a bit more monotone compared to a lot of his peers making his delivery even more intense and sinister. The production is very powerful with great sounding buzz-saw guitars and punchy drums. Everything sounds natural and the mix is perfectly balanced. Rounded off by an awesome cover artwork “Act of War” is a must-have for any fan of the genre.
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