Monday, January 13, 2014

Amon – Liar In Wait

Many years after leaving Deicide, the Hoffman brothers have surfaced with a new record under the pre-Deicide band name, Amon. And a couple of years later, the album is finally being reissued with proper distribution and cover art. Since the departure of the Hoffman brothers, Deicide themselves have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality, but the sound was largely unchanged. This meant that Amon was actually a pretty big question mark, but the good news is that “Liar In Wait” displays the trademark early Deicide style riffing that made the band so popular in the first place.

Nearly everything about this release is similar to the first three Deicide albums. For one thing, the vocalist is about as close to sounding like Glen Benton as one could without actually being him. There is a very convincing sound to his growls. This is complimented by the occasional use of harmonized higher screams. In terms of the riffs, they are pretty top-notch throughout. Sometimes they get a bit chuggier (whether through gallops or straight chugging), but songs like “Among Us”, the title track, and “Sentience and Sapience” really display a great old-school approach. The lead playing on this release is stellar. It manages to be flashy and acrobatic, but in an evil way. The shredding absolutely fits the theme of the album, but it still works its way around the fretboard with ease. Often times the band relaxes the background music in order to let the solos breathe (see “Eye of the Infinite” for two great examples), and this is extremely effective, as it gives an entirely different feel to the album, while still not losing the atmosphere of the record. Another track that really displays how great these guitarists are is the closer, “Wrath of Gaia”. It has a lot of similarity to “Slave To The Cross” from “Serpents of the Light” in that it has a sweeping melody that dominates the main riff of the song. Having spent this much time discussing the lead guitarists, you can be rest assured those are the highlight of “Liar in Wait”. Moving on, the drumming is fairly standard for death metal. All of the standards are there, but it’s clear that it isn’t Steve Asheim drumming on this album. Nevertheless, the drummer is more than serviceable, and he compliments the riffs well. 

Listening to “Liar In Wait” and “In The Minds of Evil”, it is pretty apparent how well all four of the core original members of Deicide complimented each other. While both of these records sound very similar on the surface, it is clear that neither band is entirely complete without the others. Amon retained the better riff writers, while Deicide know how to construct a more enjoyable song. Ultimately, however, we are left with two great bands, so it goes without saying that if you like Deicide, you’re going to enjoy “Liar In Wait”.

"Among Us"
"Liar In Wait"
"Wrath of Gaia"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Written by Scott