Friday, 13 July 2012

AMNPTN - Melancholia

Here's something new for you guys. AMNPTN or Amineptine, is the pseudonym for the London based post-rock/ambient/instrumental artist who goes by the name of Sid. AMNPTN is a little bit different to the usual band dynamic in post-rock, meaning he works alone and utilizes several instruments to formulate his layered sounds, rather than a group of musicians and so forth. Melancholia has it's drone phases, it also has a very memorable classical feel with the piano. The album cover looks like something Burial would come up with. Baring in mind the type of music here, the cover is fitting. 

The dark energy and eerie feel is put across well on the opening few tracks 'Eidola' and 'Acedia'. Eidola is a short introduction, with loud strings, trickling keys and a hard hitting bass. All of which come together to form what I call, a horror soundtrack. Acedia sounds intensely aphotic. Guitar strings have been scratched to create this industrial sound, mixed with the horrific imagery this music brings with it. The vocals are quiet, slow and in the same essence as Mogwai. 

'Dysphoria' continues the shrieking guitars and loops. We have more layers, more noise and more horror as the sound gradually picks up. The final few minutes are heavy on the ear, with the behind closed doors drumming which has been drenched in reverb, giving it this other worldly sound. This track closes with a few seconds of eerie piano. A short two second break separates those piano drops with an even darker and thought provoking piano on 'Nausea'. I'm thinking of Shutter Island, but in the Nazi era. The Pianist, but on an island. That's what Nausea sounds like. The drumming is breathtaking with the faint vocal and the aggressive synthesizer. The bass is loud and heavy, everything you would expect. This is a standout track right here.

'Epicedia' passes smoothly on the ear. What it lacks in layers, it makes up for in drone ambiance. It fades into the title track 'Melancholia' with ease. This track has the same kind of feel as the previous few. That's one of the AMNPTN's flaws. Yeah, this music may be horrifying, beautiful at times... But it never really captures my full attention because of the simplicity of the structures. It comes down to tracks sounding the same. Melancholia makes good use of reverb, however the screeching guitars... I've heard that before, like one minute ago. Things need to be shaken up a little for tracks to be recognized individually, rather than collectively. 'Chroma' has it's moments, like the choir-like harmonies and piano. I'm enjoying the percussion thoroughly, and it works well with the guitars. The vocals are present, but they seem invisible amongst the thunderous instrumentation. Things start to sound a little too predictable for my liking. The piano is smooth, but the progressions can be quite easily identified. That's the trouble with looping in a slow structured track. The guitars are layered with the choir vocals, this works a treat, it sounds superior, and up on the ceiling compared to the rest of the track. This track has an extraordinary outro. The thumping bass sticks like a fierce dramatic moment in a movie, the white noise can be confused with a bunch of fast cars at full speed, great stuff.

The closer, 'Ataraxia', features more pianos and more screeching guitars. A vocal loop is used in the introduction, over the trickling piano and keyboard loops. The drumming is heavier than usual, with an emphasis on the bass. This track is over in a flash, sort of a let down when compared to some of the other tracks. I was expecting a magnificent, well constructed closer. AMNPTN has gone for a smoother, laid back finishing touch to this album.

I do like my post-rock, my ambient and my drone music. I like the variations more than anything. Melancholia does have plenty of exciting features. The guitar sounds, the soundscapes, layered vocals and reverb. Most of these tracks sound alike, which is a blunder when it comes to an entire album review. Individually, some of these tracks would sound great in TV shows, movies etc.. Melancholia in itself would make a brilliant movie soundtrack to an independent shot horror film.


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