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Amplifier - The Octopus CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.02 | 485 ratings

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4 stars The beginning is important in all things....

This album is by far the most adventurous effort from the band to date, and all bases from space rock to proto Black Sabbath metal via grunge to anthemic neo-stadium rock are covered. Can you label this band? Well they're not prog-metal ' la Opeth at one end of the scale to Dream Theater at the other. This site has listed Amplifier under "Psychedelic/Space Rock" - wrong again. I would like to suggest that Amplifier are "rock-prog" in that although there are are proggy elements to their music, and the "space" label is largely confined to the lyrical element, it is merely a flirting with the genre, ROCK is really their home ground.

The music is introduced with a heartbeat from another dimension, later consumed by proto- grunge thrashing. We're living on borrowed time, and a killer lumpen-prole doom riff from the Sabbath cabinet invites us to step right up for the end of the world. Title track The Octopus gives room to breathe while we hurtle through space, the human DNA at the command of another race. The weaker bend to the will of strong on The Planet Of Insects. Yeah, I think I'm getting the picture now. The sonically epic Trading Dark Matter On The Stock Exchange features a skewed flamenco motif and gives visions of excess and obsession with the ephemeral; hold on to nothing, suckers.

A trip into deep space starts with The Sick Rose, a low tempo scene setter to the prose of William Blake. Things zoom off on a driving riff into the Interstellar travelling faster than light into the heart of the sun. The Emperor could almost be a 21st century Have A Cigar in reverse, straining for and railing against the excess. Watch out or the system will suck you in and grind you down, and where do we go from here? Eventually it'll all come crashing down under its own weight as more heavy riffing presages The Fall Of Empire. You'll leave here with nothing at all. A heavy trip. We've all made errors of judgement chasing the metaphorical dragon, but hey, let's come down to Earth and lay waste to Hollywood and the American Way with our own anthemic Oscar Night, death to Hollywood. At the end, who do you want to become, Forever And More, grab your own star.

...have you found yourself where you once started from?

You have to work at this album, it's not an easy ride and it was never intended to be. Stick with it and you will be rewarded in spades. Amplifier are more than the band anyone thought they were.

The whole thing was produced without the help of a record label and I only hope that all the hard labour put into this project pays off for the band, both artistically and financially, as there is always the danger that a project like this could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back - let's hope not. If anyone from K-Scope reads this, methinks that would be an ideal home!

Starless | 4/5 |


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