30 Jan 2022

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Amos/Anon - Album Review: The Empty Afterwards

13 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Amos/Anon are a Wellington-based project who have been releasing music for more than a decade now. Mind you, if you have not heard of them then that is probably more by design that you may expect, given that on the Bandcamp page it states If you haven't heard of [amos/anon] then the system is working. Go back to sleep. I am sure I have not heard such a self-deprecating artist since Chumbawamba decided to only put negative reviews on their website more than 20 years ago. It is important to understand the thought processes behind this album, which are as follows. The empty afterwards is the moment a song fades away, or the feeling of finishing an album, or what you experience at the moment of death, or the sound of no one listening to a single note you've played, or something else. I put as much effort into writing these songs as people do listening to them. Your perspective will define what that means to you. These songs are bleak, imperfect, passing moments of time, like the person that wrote them. Pointless, and ephemeral. But like you, they are something that has existed.

Musically it hits the themes normally associated with Amos/Anon, namely Gothic and Indie, but while they are indeed both there in abundance, they are not the full picture as there is no doubt that this album contains a great deal of black metal, as well as industrial (thinking here more in the realms of Gridfailure than NIN). The introduction is just that, leading us into Icarus which commences life as a black metal monster before it becomes something even darker as it slows down and becomes almost delicate. There is an additional cymbal on this track outside of those with the drums, and I still cannot make up my mind whether it adds or detracts, as what it does is change the focus and I am sure that is the intent.

There is a real intensity about this album, yet it is also raw, very lo-fi and indie. At times it makes me think of the type of recordings from the early Darkthrone tape years, then at others it is far more polished, and there are some effects and notes which totally change the dynamic. The comment on perspective is an interesting one, as this is something which really does reward those who have an open mind and are willing to walk on a path less travelled, while many others will just not understand what is going on at all.

Throughout the album, the music shifts, and changes, never sticking too long within any particular musical genre, but always with that feeling of bleak depression and loneliness, with vocals that at times can be softly sung and others are shrieked and guttural with sounds that match those the movement. For many this will be a challenging album, yet I found it intriguing and compelling, with the raw production adding a sense of DIY honesty. This is the first I have heard of the band, but with more than 20 releases on Bandcamp I am sure it is not going to be the last.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Amos/Anon

If you haven't heard of Amos/Anon, then everything is fine. The system is working. Keep calm and stop thinking. Close your eyes and let capitalism lull you back into a dreamless slumber.

"...it’s Kiwi from end to end, indie and awesome. The more I listen, the more I want!"

"...unashamedly bolshie and brazen. There is no room for tenderness here."

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Amos/Anon


The Empty Afterwards
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Toil On, Poor Heart
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Gothique Doesn't Exist
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Beneath The Pound Of Flesh
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Songs of a Tortured Soul
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Darkness From Light
Year: 2011
Type: Album
My Schizophrenic Acoustic
Year: 2010
Type: EP
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Year: 2008
Type: EP
Year: 2007
Type: EP

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