This group has been one I’ve been looking forward to checking out for some time. Ame Noire features members of some of Australia’s finest bands Zeolite, Athenas Wake, Epimetheus. I wasn’t sure what to expect with these guys, as the name isn’t reminiscent of a typical death metal act, but I knew I was in for some great musicianship.

Upon putting on the first track, What Lurks Below a heavy, dissonant guitar riff kicks in, and bass player Toby showcases his ability to lead the band with an engaging and tasteful bassline while the drums move around, creating a perfect technical melancholy which really shines as the double kick begins. The mood of this song already had me feeling like I was fighting a fight and determined to win, but there was this overarching feeling of hopelessness that lingered.

The second track Slave to the Grave is just epic. Reminiscent of a much angrier, much more aggressive Black Dahlia from the old school days laced with brutal death metal and venomous vocals. The bit that caught me off guard the most in this song was the verse that could put Eminem‘s rap god to shame in speed and execution.

Thirdly we have Immurement which starts off on a melodic black metal front and breaks into a melodic clean guitar part, back into a killer riff and more tasteful leads. I also particularly love the way the composition and interaction between the bass and drums fall together in this song. The gang-vocal style part really surprised me – that has the potential to sometimes sound a bit corny but the way this sits in the mix makes a cool addition to the song.

The Wayward Home continues with the melodic guitars which slowly build from a cleaner tone into intricate drums before the guitars come in to dirty things up again with a barrage of chords and spitting vocals and seems to flow seamlessly into the title track, which is the last song on the album, with the ebbs and flows of the music happening in just the right places and for just the right amount of time. Long enough for you to let your guard down and let the gentle guitar really grip you but not long enough to forget just how heavy this band really are.

The Tree That Bears Rotten Fruit. The stand out here is the return to a melancholic writing style and some savage vocals. You can hear someone laughing maniacally in the background as the guitars take over the song and the riff continues. The shrieks in some places could pass as something from Anaal Nathrakh or Cattle Decapitation.

The most prominent thing was the fact I found it difficult to describe and can think of about a hundred bands that sound similar in one very abstract or specific way, but I couldn’t pick just one thing to describe this band as. It’s hard to be unique these days, but these guys nail it and I could see them fitting on almost any heavy line-up.

In some sections they had me thinking “that could be off a new Behemoth record” and “this is dark” and others that just made me go “wait is this slam now?”  and there are some sections that sound straight up technical death and melodic death metal. These fiercely talented individuals have created one hell of an album with their debut “The Tree ‘That Bears Rotten Fruit’.

One thing goes without saying though, this talented bunch have made a huge impression, and this album and band really do deserve the praise they’ve been getting around the place. I’ll be trying to catch these guys around live.