In the old days, bands only came from about four cities in the world – London, Birmingham, New York and Los Angeles. If you weren’t from one of these big four you’d need to up sticks and get to your nearest metropolis quick smart if your band was to prosper, no matter the quality of material it was coming up with. These days? Don’t matter squire. Proof of this pudding is the fact that I’m hungrily devouring every second of this new Deprivation album and where do they come from? Orange, New South Wales, that’s where. Quite literally the middle of nowhere.
So after giving thanks to the global village that is the internet, and the fact that an old bugger like me in England can source new music as good as this at the touch of a button (the fact that I write for the web’s best metallic organ obviously helps here) from half way across the world, what is there to say about Amalgam? Well, apart from the fact that it’s an absolutely superb debut effort, quite a lot. So here goes...
Amalgam as a whole is resolutely forward looking; Opener Strain has a real metalcore feel to it, the muscular production (courtesy of Darren ‘Jenk’ Jenkins, who will be familiar to Australian readers through his work with the likes of Daysend and Black Asylum) giving the bottom end sufficient bollocks to add ballast to what is otherwise the most lightweight track on offer. That’s not to say it isn’t still very heavy indeed – it is – but it doesn’t quite set you up for the smorgasbord of coruscating riffage that follows.
Deprivation are going to be one of those bands that are lucky enough to appeal to young and old metalheads alike, with all of their songs bringing together strands of classic thrash and death metal and newer stylings in a seamless fashion that’ll have everyone baying for more. The foremost example of this is the splendidly corrosive Replicating the Seed, which manages, in it’s five minute duration, to sum up just about everything that’s good about heavy music in 2011- it’s that good.
So, there’s enough breakdown action for the young uns to get excited about, a healthy dose of Gothenburg mania to keep the older fans happy – are there any weak links on Amalgam? The answer to that, my friends, is a resolute no. It’s not an astounding album by any means, but it really is hard to imagine how the band could have done any better. In the final analysis, Amalgam is an immensely pleasing album that only makes the listener look forward to hearing what Deprivation comes up with next. Great stuff.