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Well, AMKEN, those promising insane thrashers are about to release their first album called “Theater Of The Absurd“. Taking no breaks from live shows and opening for bands like SKULL FIST, SODOM, SIX FEET UNDER, NERVOSA etc with only one EP (“Adrenaline Shot”). Let’s see what their first full-length effort has in store!

“Shattered Sanity”, a song highly influenced by Nuclear Assault (the intro gangs) and Sepultura kicks off the record in the most brutal way. However, it’s easily more mature than the whole EP that came before: more intricate riffs, better solos and improved songwriting. Something made evident throughout the whole record. Lyrically, it addresses the issue of paranoia and insanity. Up next we have the albums’ title track “Theater Of The Absurd”. Keeping up the pace of the album, but there’s more to it. It’s a song more intricate, more melodic and overall heavier than the one before it, with a strong DARK ANGEL feel on the main riff, including a nice bass break and a killer solo. A song about the absurdity of religion in general and its dogmatic view on life.

Time to bring down the pace just a bit with “D.A.P.”, a mid-to-fast-tempo slab of EXODUS-meets-ANTHRAX-influenced thrash metal with V. Theodorakis of REVOLTED MASSES fame, ripping that solo, attacking those who only seek personal validation in material wealth as well as their self-image. The title stands for “Divas And Posers” showing their hatred towards a certain political party existing in Greek universities, reeking of those aforementioned “qualities”. “Obedient Dogs” follows with a completely D.R.I.-influenced intro, going full-speed ahead with some very smart half time breaks. An ultra pissed off track as well, and how couldn’t it be, since it’s about the abuse of power by police officers? One of the tracks that made me think “this will and should destroy many venues”.

“The Greek scene needs bands like AMKEN to deliver the goods.”

A very current song lyrically is “Wired”, talking about the people being addicted to social media, so it seems as if they’re wired and not actually living their lives. All of that expressed through a mid-tempo intro riff that could easily be in KREATOR’s “Coma Of Souls”, before going full speed again and giving us another bass break. Also one of the best choruses on the album. “Soul’s Crypt” comes next, the most well-known song of the entire album, being released almost a year now as a video-clip. Another song revolving around the concept of paranoia and psychology in general. A song that had an equal dose of Destruction, Exodus and Testament. But, it also shows the band’s effort to create its own style, more technical and varied. And that riff break in the middle is simply killer.

“Sacred Machine” is the song where things get a little more philosophical, talking about our part in society and life in general. Influenced by Pink Floyd’s “Welcome To The Machine” which has a similar lyrical theme. In one of the longest songs of the album (just under 6 minutes), with a METALLICA-meets-KREATOR motif and some AT THE GATES melodic patterns in there, along with a beautiful solo and nice bass fills. Final track of the album is “Addicted To Green”, flavored with blastbeats and overall nice drum fills, and showing the band’s love for OVERKILL. Fast paced track to end the album on a brutal note, with a middle riff reminiscent of early The Haunted.

One of the things that we shouldn’t pass by, is the fact that despite their young age, they’ve got a strong sense of professionalism in them. And that’s clearly going to help them in the future, which seems very bright with records like “Theater Of The Absurd“! The Greek scene needs bands like AMKEN to deliver the goods. Horns up!