The stars. These lights high up in the sky have been a master of fascination since millennia. Their universality around the globe since humanity’s cradle has given them a place of choice in our imagination. They have inspired scientists, philosophers, poets and artists, and have raised questions about beginning and end of times. Their power has transcended limits, and has found a place in the song writing process of a melodic death metal band from Munich, Amplified Memory.
The 6 guys seem to be inspired by classics. Celestial bodies and existential questionings represent the main topics of their lyrics and visual arts. From a metal music perspective, influences from giants of the genre are to be heard in their sound. Dark Tranquility is the first name that popped into my mind when I first heard the Munich band. Amplified Memory presents an old-school death metal, Gothenbourg-style oriented.
Amplified Memory already have an album to their credit, The Ever Spinning Wheel, released in July 2013. It consists of 12 songs. The pieces gain in length as the album progresses; it starts with a misty, almost romantic intro and finishes with the song Ekpyrosis (Preparing for a New Beginning), which lasts a bit more than 7 minutes. In stoicism, a school of ancient Greek philosophy, the ekpyrosis is the great destruction of the cosmos by fire that happens periodically in order to create a new order of the world, which would also be destroyed the same way at the end of the cycle. According to Stoics, the world is, in fact, an ever spinning wheel. These details – the last song entitled in such a way, linked with the title of the album, and with the general topic of stars and cosmos that the band has chosen – are little things I really enjoy.
What about the actual music? As mentioned above, Amplified Memory follow the path of old-school melodic death metal. They do not reinvent the wheel, but they keep it spinning by adding their own touch. Some of the songs get off the beaten tracks established by the pioneers. Inscrutable Stones, for example, offers a wide variety of riffs, Omniscent Stars could almost be classify as a ballad and the slow Ladon’s Dream ends on a fast and energetic tempo. At some point, there is a switch in the atmosphere. The first half of the album is a bit more intense and heavier than the second one. However, the keyboard adds some elegance and sophistication in every pieces.
The album ending by the destruction of a cycle, we can now expect the start of a new one.