“Theater of the Absurd” is the debut full-length from Greek thrash band Amken. The band made a relatively big splash with their “Adrenaline Shot” EP, and has returned with 8 tracks of blistering, uncompromising thrash metal. From start to finish, this album shows an uncanny ability to pump out riff after riff that will induce immediate headbanging. The band’s approach is fairly typical, as Exodus-inspired riffs can be found constantly throughout the record. The singing is similarly in vein of Paul Baloff’s style of yelling your guts out. Amken’s vocalist is slightly harsher, almost resembling Mille Petrozza at times. He doesn’t have a particularly noticeable accent, instead sounding like a typical thrash vocalist.
The band knew what they did well on this record as they kicked things off with “Shattered Sanity”, which is the best song on the album. It feels like the entire song is building until the closing chorus, which is built for screaming along to. Another highlight is “Soul’s Crypt”, which features a wicked, proper thrash breakdown riff. With that said, most of the songs have something to enjoy, even when they’re not particularly unique. The title track, for example, has a pretty catchy chorus, where things slow down a bit and get slightly more atmospheric due to a well-placed lead. It also helps that the bass is audible all throughout the record.
The only song that does feel a little more unique is “Obedient Dogs”, and that is primarily because the song starts out heavier and slower than the remainder of the album. It ends up thrashing just as fast and as hard as anything else Amken has put out. While “Theater of the Absurd” as a whole isn’t too original, it is able to fulfill all of your thrash needs more than adequately. This means that if you’re not sold on newer thrash bands, Amken won’t convince you, but if you worship this stuff like I do, they’re more than likely to get the pit started!
Be sure to check out and like Amken on Facebook!
4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott