We last met Amiensus in 2017 with All Paths Lead to Death, which saw them in a more atavistic mood than debut album Restoration. Abreaction finds the band in a more expensive mood once more, while still retaining a core of blackened darkness and aggression.
This is nuanced, emotive music. Ripe with rich melody, acoustic texture, and luscious vocal harmonies, Abreaction is an immersive and compelling listening experience. These songs are progressive black metal exemplars played and composed by practiced hands. Amiensus’ Enslaved-meets-Agalloch-meets-Anathema-meets-Ihsahn approach may be a bit of a mouthful, but is wonderfully-realised on Abreaction. I’d say that this latest album is the band’s most complete, well-rounded, and enjoyable yet.
These luscious soundscapes are heavily atmospheric and involving, and frequently quite gorgeous. Warm and embracing, and further enhanced by judicious use of folk elements and instruments such as strings and keyboards, they’re a real treat for fans of multifaceted black metal. Wandering bass can be heard too, delivering a real contribution to the songs and providing a strong foundation for the rest of the music.
Underpinning these aspects of the band’s sound is a cold streak of icy black metal, providing a juxtaposition to the rest of the music that nonetheless works with it rather than against it. Sometimes coming to the fore, sometimes not; either way it’s a joy to hear the band stay true to their roots while venturing deeper into atmospheric and progressive territories.
Abreaction is an accomplished and lovingly crafted work from an underground band who deserve a lot more exposure than they get. Make sure you give Amiensus’ latest the time it deserves.