by Martin Popoff
Like Zep’s Houses Of The Holy gone very wrong, the front cover of Amen‘s self-titled debut stares down the nation, while the musicmakers inside attack with a punked-up force while addressing many of the current metal flavors, a little bit of Korn Chamber, a cold-steel taste of Sevendustrial, and hard habits from hardcore. But it’s so cannily mixed-up and spat out, Amen approach the mystique and cogent emotional force of Rage Against The Machine, especially come “When A Man Dies A Woman.” Ross Robinson has gone for a histrionic, high-ended sound to match the writing’s emotion, and quite often, the thrashy vocals of Casey Chaos are buried way back like some sort of metaphor for hyper-American information overload. Which is a bit of a problem by record’s end: Too much of a million nu-metal thoughts racing around yer hurtin’ head.
(536 Broadway 4th Fl. New York, NY 10012)