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Friday, December 4, 2015

Album Review: Arrakis – Ammu Dia

Instrumental metal isn’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea but it’s most certainly a genre that lends itself to emotional abandonment. And with post-metal burgeoning, it seems everyone’s at it these days. Another for the melting pot, Greek three-piece Arrakis formed late in 2012 with the intention of creating the ultimate stoner experience. None of these messy lyricisms for them, just pure, pounding rhythms, heaps of distortion and cyclical riffs into which the listener can blithely stagger and drop out.

Recorded live in the studio, Ammu Dia shows promise but lacks punch. Roughly produced, its consequently loaded with honesty and raw power, yet is somewhat imbalanced and has plenty of niggling inaccuracies. Thematically lacking also, the album relies all too often on mere stringwork to discover the heart and soul of the tracks, rather than by using layering and soundscaping to dig into the emotional bedrock. Bands like Russian Circles or Red Sparowes are masters of both, whilst Arrakis attempt to fuel a different fire. They are more about the riff and the head-down groove. Only the final few tracks, and in particular, both “Noema” and the 12 paper-thin minutes of “Diplomacy?” even attempt to draw a little introspection from the listener.

With just the single lead guitar forging ahead to mingle with the battering kit and gutsy bass there’s little room for string interplay and, as a consequence, the big bloated monsters of one-dimensional “Audium” and the anomalous “Aztec” create nothing but a swathe of flat noise, losing what little craftwork there is in the muddy production and heaving dissonance. One recognisable touchstone lurks as “Oppose” tips its hat to the dark patterning and simplistic doom of both St. Vitus and Black Sabbath.

As a jam in a live setting with their chords blasting through chests, Arrakis have the tuneage to really make bonces bounce, but with so little to offer in this crudely-produced recorded format they are unfortunately just more of a racket.



Also online @ Ave Noctum = http://www.avenoctum.com/2015/10/arrakis-ammu-dia-sr/
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