Amulet - The First

Amulet The First cover
The First
Century Media
Amulet is a British band that formed a few years ago and performs a very early 80s, obscurest occult inspired doom metal that owes a lot to early Black Sabbath and Angelwitch (mostly). I have to admit that they manage to pull the whole thing rather convincingly without necessarily directly ripping off, something, too obviously. While they don’t get any points for originality, they do get a lot of points for getting the style “completely” right and not sounding like a ridiculous, over the top bunch of drunk Germans with too many studded belts, playing “hide ze salami” :P while stealing off, riffs and solos from old bands...
While tracks like the raucous opener the “Evil Cathedral” tend to be quite interesting, and the riffs of the band are anything but bad, the one track mindedness of their style, soon makes them a little of an acquired taste. I mean you could say pretty much the same for bands like Witchfynde and Witchfinder General, but, those bands have already passed down in the annals of history... unlike our young pretenders here, that however with songs like “The Glint of the Knife” seem able to carve their own path, in the history of metal…
“The Gauntlet” comes crushing down, but it’s a bit too similar, if not a tad more epic.
“Bloody Nights” actually seems to divert a bit, going for a more, proto Iron Maiden kinda punkish vibe and attitude, but still maintaining the sound of the band’s primary influences in focus.
“Heathen Castle” is rather monolithic in style and more simplistic and brings the focus back to the more mysterious and “fucked up” themes...
“The Flight” that follows is an almost two and a half minute, instrumental, that’s bizarrely soundtrack-like, and sounds like it’s sourced from some sci-fi movie. It’s a fantastic piece of music, probably the best two and a half minutes of the album... which leads us to another quite wickedly cool piece called “The Talisman” this time more “mystery” induced, but still containing some awesome melodies.
Finally the song that those two songs lead to “The Sacrifice” is possibly the best “vocal track” of the album... a mid-tempo, mystery filled number that describes a “satanic ritual” in a chilling way… a bit like the forefathers of the whole genre did all those years ago, in their own peculiar manner…
I take back what I said about the band not ripping off anyone... I’m pretty much, betting “the hair on my left ball, because my nut itself is precious” that a couple of riffs from “The Mark of Evil” have been consciously or unconsciously been ripped off by somewhere… one of them towards the end, sounding a bit like Diamondhead/allica.
“Wicked ‘n Cruel” is not what I intended to be, by any stretch, but after listening to this rather plodding mid-tempo, is what I might have to be…
Well at least “Black Candle” with its more evil and mysterious riff, even if it sounds, pretty much like something that you’ve been listening on repeat for the past half hour, sounds mighty fine at this point!
“Trip Forever” suddenly decides to really kick out the jams, right before the end – and if you’ve been smoking a toke, you might, swallow your bong, mutha :D It’s “fast”... not as fast as a shark, but again, it’s a lot more “rock ‘n roll” than your usual “Amulet fare” tends to be and a lot nastier and far more dirty an streetwise.
Last but not least comes the “Nightmare” a mid-tempo Sabbathesque piece of worship, that’s a rather interesting way to recap things.
All in all a fairly decent “true” debut, by these Brits, for people, Living/Stuck in the past... it might not be absolutely to everyone’s taste, but so be it. They do what they do well enough… in fact even better than some acts from back in the day and they are unapologetic about it.