Experimentation is always a forefront in what can capture a listener, making them return countlessly to albums year after year. While Waking Nightmare from Amphist has only been released for little over a year, it is a record that has some of those elements of experimentation that keeps the style fresh and without limits.
The Italian group, reigning from Campania holds their ground for being aggressive and headstrong. Amphist is no stranger to creating a sense of abrasion behind their sound, holding the listener as a hostage for the first cut, “Further Downward The Abyss”. There is something magical about that droning motion that moves Amphist into the first clashing barrage of sound. It is subtle at first, with just a few notes forming the backing of the sound. Then suddenly, the flood gates are destroyed and Amphist becomes a smash-and-grab where the movements change rapidly. With a fairly harmonic build-up, the thrash comes effortlessly and leads into one of the more menacing bass and guitar combinations.
The bass here on Waking Nightmarecontinues to stand out for being rough and ugly, but complimenting the overall style of the band well. There are breaks in Amphist to illustrate a small, but quick cutaway where the bass is the only thing standing in front of the listener. It is personal, making for some memorable moments on the near 22-minute release. Even as Amphist moves into the self titled track, “Waking Nightmare”, there is a sense of approachability behind their sound. The work is polished and performed to a professional standard where every instrument has its own intricacies and ability to shine in a darkened sense.
“La Pelle” is one of the shorter tracks present on Waking Nightmare, but it captures the sense of movement and punch behind the sound. It holds this ugliness over a gleaming level of instrumentation that fits somehow with feedback ridden microphones for vocals. The vocals on Waking Nightmareare usually in a drowning sense with multiple overlays, giving this attack from all angles.
To the forefront of style, Amphist works to form their own attraction to metal. They produce a clean-cut, edgy, and ultimately replayable fall from grace. Known for the mountains and seas, Campania has some darkness within those same glorious streets.