Review by Rod Whitfield
When I heard that this band were French, I jumped at the chance to hear and review them. Outside our own country, I feel that France is the nation that has made the greatest leaps in heavy music in the last 10-15 years, having produced a surprising (for a country previously not really known as much for metal as other, more traditional places) number of very high quality acts during that time. Obviously there is Gojira, plus French bands such as Uneven Structure, Klone, Dagoba, Hacride, Hypno5e, Kadinja and many more have arisen and impressed during that time.
If they are French, they are probably going to be good.
Now, add Amber Sea to that ever-growing list. They are indeed good, very good in fact. Their progressive metal sound goes off in many different directions and on many different tangents. The underlying vibe is that of a djenty progressive metal act, however they stray into crushing deathcore territory at times, and cover straight up metalcore/post hardcore, death metal, ambient/electronic and even get quite poppy on occasion, with the clean vocals providing nice relief from the throat shredding vocal onslaught that surrounds them, all on one five track EP. It’s a pretty schizophrenic mix, but remains cohesive and highly listenable at the same time.
They even showcase a slightly Mexican/Flamenco style during Deci (Mate), which also features the dulcet tones of former Periphery, now Monuments frontman Chris Baretto. They have managed to attract some serious guests for this release too, as Pierre Dane of the aforementioned KADINJA shows up on final track Black Materia: Meteor.
As you would expect from a band like this, the musicianship is exemplary, the guitar players especially displaying some pretty damn crafty chops whilst still allowing the songs to breathe. Plus, as an added bonus, the production is absolutely massive; a crystal clear wall of sound.
This EP is damn good value too, while only five tracks, it stretches out for almost 30 minutes of music, with the band eschewing radio formats and winding their tracks out to the six and seven minute mark and beyond.
This debut EP is anything but infantile, it is very mature and developed for a new band. The djent/progressive scene is quite crowded, but this one stands out from the crowd rather nicely indeed.