"Death Before Musick" (EatUrMusic / Columbia; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Unwilling to climb aboard the pop punk band wagon that would probably guarantee them millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of screaming fans, Amen continue to play punk rock the way it was meant to be played: with fiery charisma, a rough, edgy sound and pure, unadulterated attitude.

With vocals that, thankfully, have the devil-may-care twang of The Clash or the Sex Pistols and a great guitar sound that perfectly blends punk energy with metal heaviness, "Death Before Musick" won't alienate fans of either genre and, in fact, will probably appeal to them equally, much like Motorhead.

If I had to choose between "Death Before Musick" and the Amen CD I reviewed earlier, "We Have Come For Your Parents," I'd have to go with "Death." With slightly better production and a more organized songwriting style, "Death Before Musick" is a more consistent and confident record. 

The band's gone through a lot since the release of "We Have Come For Your Parents," including a series of personnel changes that left an almost entirely new line-up. The resulting CD has a lot of anger and energy, as well as a lot of talent, that translates well to the band's sound.

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"We Have Come For Your Parents" (Virgin; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

AMEN take the term "Rough Edge" to heart. The 14 tracks on this CD are the rawest form of punk/metal that's possible to record. The guitars are chunky, fast and furious, the drums rapid and rhythmic, the vocals a screech of anger and defiance.

It's like somebody crossed Rancid with the Deftones.

If you like you're rock rough, ripe and unrestrained, Amen are right up your alley. This band spits in the face of slick, commercial rock and they take great pride in doing so. And, what's more, they succeed.

AMEN: Casey Chaos - vocals; S. Mayo - guitar; Paul Fig - guitar; Tumor, John - Bass; Larkin - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Jul 2024 12:10:24 -0400.