The Ripper at the Heavens Gates of Dark
'The Ripper At The Heavens Gates Of Dark' is like the soundtrack to a mental breakdown, but thankfully you don't have to be suffering from any form of cerebral instability to appreciate AMT's music. But is there method in the madness? Well, yes and no.
I myself am an AMT virgin and my immediate thought when I first press play is that they are an acquired taste; their music swells with obscure and unconventional instrumentation. This intertwines with the pounding, crushing guitars and melodic, almost whale-like moans of Tsuyama Atsushi in a mystic way; you can imagine this soundtracking the construction of stonehenge, druids and all. The sheer depth of experimentation is almost admirable; the band clearly demonstrates an unwillingness to stick to traditional structure and this is shown throughout the entire album, which seemingly oozes from the speakers in a woozy, sloppy manner than is best imagined as a herd of stampeding elephants; such great force is unleashed, yet it is somewhat chaotic in effect. They sometimes stumble upon their own feet which results in a loss of momentum and ultimately lessens the impact.
In short, this isn't the best psych-rock album ever made; it is stifled by its own desire to experiment that ultimately limits its appeal. The sprawling soundscapes, although fitting well with the mood and atmosphere, sometimes seem to drag on for a little longer than comfortable listening allows. If you're into music that warps the mind and really punishes the listener this is a treat, but if you're looking for something a bit more instant or memorable then you're perhaps best looking somewhere else.
Posted: Fri 16 December 2011