Saturday, 1 February 2014

Amber - Lovesaken LP


My day begins with some post-hardcore from Germany, in the form of Amber.  Amber formed in November 2011 and since then, they've released a self-titled EP on tape, CD and more recently on vinyl and also released Lovesaken on limited CD and on vinyl through Halo of Flies, which was released in April 2013 and has since sold out. The LP version was a collaborative release with European label Narshardaa and fellow US label Protagonist Music. In the wake of Lovesaken's release, they went on tour with UK post-hardcore band Acres in their native Germany and also shared the stage with Napalm Death and Integrity amongst others, at New Noise Festival 8 that took place in Karlshruhe in August of last year.

Amber themselves made it onto a few end of year lists, including being featured as best full-length on  the list from Mark of Gogmagogical Records, which appeared on the Summoning Spirits blog. They're releasing a split 7" soon with Locktender too. which again will be released via Halo of Flies and a few other European friends.

Tracklist:-

1. Kings Like Us
2. Lost
3. Silent Lies
4. Fading Away
5. Lovesaken

It all begins with disorientating feedback that usher in the opening riffs of Kings Like Us. The guitars seem to have a slight screamo slant to them, in terms of the treble they employ and Amber like to inject off-kilter moments into the song. Anna’s vocals are full of energy and emotion and the music is full of atmosphere and Amber choose to make it expansive, with no song falling under six minutes. The musicality and song-structure at play on Lovesaken really make the hairs on the back of you neck stand up. Take the opening minutes of Lost, with its simple yet mesmerising guitar work, which bursts into dissonance at the drop of the hat during the screamed sections. Now, I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to actual musical terms, as i’m sure you’ve noticed, so you’ll have to bare with me. 

Having fallen in love with fellow Halo of Flies bands like Light Bearer, Northless and Protestant in recent years, it’s no surprise that they the label released Lovesaken. I’m just annoyed with myself for not catching on sooner. There’s just something about the music as Silent Lies begins. There’s a colour too it, Amber don’t just go all-out aggressive, they control their performance and thanks to the stellar production of the LP, it sounds warm and inviting. All post-hardcore should sound as good as this. Considering that Lovesaken has only got five songs, it feels more like a full length thanks to the variation, song ideas and their lengths. When the vocals settle down to reveal the instrumental sections, it’s so enthralling to listen to and then when the vocals reappear, there’s a cathartic energy that courses through the music. Fading Away has this in abundance, with it’s quiet/loud dynamics. 

Amber leave their title-track until the end of the LP. This song seems to gather up everything that is so good about the record and shoehorn it into ten-minutes of pure epic-ness. There are moments of complete serenity filled with just one sole guitar, then there’s the earth-shattering noise parts. It’s nice noise though, with Amber’s signature musicality layered to make something euphoric. It gives you chills, it calms you and it rouses you in equal measure. If you just sit back and listen to it, with no outside interruptions or thoughts in your head, you’ll be transported to a place where all you have is your inner calm. That’s the effect Amber and Lovesaken has on you. It’s incredible and considering it was only the bands second release, it’s all the more special in my eyes!

Make sure you listen to this breathtaking record here:-


As I mentioned, Lovesaken is now sold out from Halo of Flies, but you can still pick it up in various forms from other places:-

Firstly,  it's available as a name-you-price download and a limited CD from Amber themselves here - http://weareamber.bandcamp.com.

Secondly, the LP can be purchased from Narshardaa Records here http://narshardaa.bigcartel.com if you're in Europe and also from Protagonist music here http://protagonistmusic.bigcartel.com if you're from the US/Canada etc.

Amber Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hereisamber
Halo of Flies Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HALOOFFLIESRECORDS
Narshardaa Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Narshardaa-Records
Protagonist Music Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ProtagonistMusic

No comments:

Post a comment