Remember the good old year of 1986 when thrash metal was the most dangerous art form around? Remember when "Reign In Blood", "Darkness Descends" and "Pleasure To Kill" were among a whole army of albums that sought to bring about the end of all that was good and pleasant in this world? If not, then a good antidote for such a sorry case of amnesia would be Amken, which is among one of the more extreme albums to come out of Greeece of late. I've often dreamed about what "Bonded by Blood" with a heavy dose of methamphetamines would sound like, and now that dream has come to life and taken on a nightmarish existence of the likes that would frighten the Frankenstein monster. There have been a good number of all speed, all the time albums to rage forth out of this side of the America, but this one pretty well tops them all, merging all of the attitude and fury of the old school with a slight helping of crossover brilliance in the vocal department. Exodus first floated the idea that all of the poseurs had to die, but Amken here actually took it to the next level and proceeded to kill them all off in the most intricate and utterly painful way possible. Each bone-crushing riff, each gut-wrenching shout, and each megaton of blast beating fury hits the senses in an unrelenting sea of chaos, culminating in anthems of violence with enough chug sounds to make James Hetfield and Jon Schaeffer blush. When Dave Mustaine commanded the masses to rattle their fucking heads, I sometimes wonder if maybe he didn't fully comprehend the beast that he was unleashing. Much like the famed George Carlin dare disguised as a joke in "You'll never see someone taking a shit while running at full speed", one has to prepare for the possibility that someone will come along later with the audacity to actually follow through on the dare. That's essentially what Amken has accomplished here, a massive ode to literally throwing one's head clean off their shoulders. I defy anyone to try and listen to this beast without instantly breaking into a one-man mosh pit in his own room, it's a virtual impossibility. This might not be the most original thing to come out of the woodwork of late. Forget about Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust, give this radioactive miracle a try and see if you're still alive afterwards. Fkn angry and in your face Thrash Metal !!
Review by Paul Caravasi