Inceptive material of the crustcore movement and a part of hardcore's evolution, Amebix brought organic melody and shape to new heights in underground hardcore music.

Alternative Tentacles

Production: Garage with sense.

Review: Coming from the vortex of unfurling knowledge that was punk music in growth, Amebix rose from the heart of hardcore into the birthing origins of the crustcore movement, fashioning from the rejected elements of music around them a basic yet literate style of poetic, anti-abstract, individualist hardcore. Power chords and strict rhythm riffing counterbalance melodies embedded within the transitions and verses of nihilistic music. In many ways not dissimilar to other pop from England, these songs twist themselves around an attitude wrung from thematic conflict which is revealed late in each piece. Aspects of drone and primalism accent the rawness and directness of the music.


1. the moor
2. axeman
3. fear of god
4. largactyl
5. drink and be merry
6. spoils of victory
7. arise!
8. slave
9. the darkest hour
10. right to ride
11. beyond the sun
Length: 50:41

amebix arise! +2 1987 alternative tentacles
Copyright © 1987 Alternative Tentacles

Lyrics follow punk topics like armageddon and emotional politics, yet musical support while monolithic in establishment of background to change in motif is endlessly giving in its ability to shift between views of one idea before finding its opposite and doing the same within it. Techniques for harmonization and basic counterpoint in use here have matured in the present time since this recording, alongside the more emotionally self-conscious and polarized identities which are expressed by this music and imagery. While the sentiment truly peaks toward the end of the album, this primitive emocore is, although as much the essence of this music as its more hardcore parts, the artistic second part to the savagery of its inner angst at a social encroaching-ness irritating but not unnerving with existential fear like the beast within human social reasoning. Its strength is its ability to transfer radical opposites into an energy which by characteristics of its structure channels focus toward a repeated melodic figure involving drone or subtly dissonant harmonization, a structure which endures in music of disparate natures from Burzum to Absurd.

Gnarled and softhearted simultaneously, this album comes with a cover of midieval warfare that would satisfy any black metal demons, giving significance to this symbolism with its own music that slowly degenerates into rock music or heavy metal stylings over time. "Right to Ride," from the final recording session of this band, is nearly a Motörhead cover and shows this influence closing in after earlier more intense works. While this effect is discouraging, the tracks from 1985 on this release show hardcore in the fullest bloom of youth while ambitions were still discovering new territory to explore, before learning what they must master to become territorial explorers.

1. Monolith
2. Nobody's Driving
3. The Power Remains
4. Time Bomb
5. Last Will and Testament
6. I.C.B.M.
7. Chain Reaction
8. Fallen From Grace
9. Coming Home
Length: 44:05
Monolith (Heavy Metal, 1987)
The band as maturity dawned and perhaps soured became more like original inspirations, including apparently a fair amount of heavy metal and guitar rock from the 1970s, creating a hybrid of their neo-crust droning hardcore with influences that perhaps more belong to the mainstream music spectrum, each riding the narrow edge of judgment between sentiment and emotional resonance to action and the result colliding into it with a soft and mushy plup. The sagging infrastructures that once bore credibility are here a bore, and it is a tribute to the logical minds behind this band that they called it quits after this. Where earlier Amebix is groundbreaking hardcore most of this more resembles Motörhead with a Grateful Dead influence.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE

Copyright © 1988-2004 the Dark Legions Archive