Amiensus – Restoration
Reviewed by Chris Foley
Being billed as progressive black metal, I will say I was expecting something a little more off-the-wall than what Amiensus offers up on its debut full-length, Restoration. “Tranquil” would be the best description I could give this. Despite sections throughout the release which kick up some dust, they’re always cut with somber lead guitars or acoustic flourishes. Yeah, this is your basic “put on an old woolly jumper and walk through ideally-autumnal woods” kind of music, which certainly has seen an increase in popularity over the last few years.
For the most part the music is without a doubt well written, with excellent, calculated use of melodic passages making tracks such as “Morgawr” and “I Am” near-stupendous in arrangement. Sometimes I do think the band falls a little flat, particularly when utilizing aggressive vocals. “Millenium” would be a good example of this, and it certainly comes across as a little unfocused when compared to the likes of the aforementioned tracks (although it should be noted that Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams does the aggressive vocals on “Millenium”).
With the exception of the aggressive vocals, which I’ve found to be a little hit or miss, the rest of the performance leaves little, if anything to be desired. The guitars and clean vocals are certainly the standout aspects here, with impressive clean guitar work involving leads, and haunting, ethereal vocals which are ideal for the sound here on Restoration.
All in all I think this is a pretty solid release which should likely appeal to fans of acts such as Gallowbraid, Oak Pantheon, and of course Agalloch. There is definitely promise displayed here on Restoration, as well as copious flirtation with brilliance. Amiensus could be a band to watch out for, and in the meantime I’d say this is well worth a listen.
3.5 // 5