Australian extreme metal outfit The Amenta recently released a brutal album called Plague Of Locus, boasting an assortment of cover songs that have inspired the band and their music.
The selection of bands paid homage to has a number of surprises amongst some expected tributes, ranging from local black metal bands like Nazxul and Lord Kaos to alternative acts such as Alice In Chains, Diamanda Galas and Killing Joke. It is an eclectic and broad list of artists, going a long way to giving us a better insight into The Amenta and what makes them tick.
To celebrate, The Amenta embark on their first headlining tour in over a decade, kicking off on November 16 in Sydney and taking in an appearance at this year’s Froth & Fury festival in Adelaide. It is a tour metal fans around the country have been screaming for, and one which sees blackened sludge machine LO! supporting for most shows in a twin sonic assault that promises to be as intense as it will be visually stunning.
Keyboard/sampler Timothy Pope sat down with HEAVY to tell us more.
“You never know what to expect with any release,” he began, “but more so with covers. People might not know a lot of the bands we covered, or maybe they knew the songs too well and don’t think we do good versions. You never really know how people are going to receive it but so far it’s been almost exclusively really positive.”
We ask Pope why now was the right time for The Amenta to make this album.
“It was something we almost started doing almost accidently when we started recording our last album Revelator,” he explained. “We’ve always been a band where basically anything we write we record and it gets released. So there’s not a lot of additional stuff floating around. There’s no B sides or nothing we can put together a special release with, so it was a deliberate decision of let’s try and record a couple of songs that we won’t put on the album, but we’ll just use the fact we’re recording to get them done as efficiently as possible. Then if we need to do a Japanese import version with bonus tracks or anything like that then we’ve got some tracks. We recorded the drums of the Alice In Chains song called Angry Chair and also the drums for the Halo song Rise. We recorded them at the same time we recorded drums for Revelator, and at one point we even talked about having those songs on the album anyway. But as we went through those dropped by the wayside, and we decided to concentrate on the songs that we know are going to be on the album. They sat there for a little while not doing anything, and then we were talking about doing something with those songs and thought we would build it out to something more rather than just have two songs on Bandcamp. As we discussed it we came up with all this idea of all these bands we wanted to cover, and we decided to pin them all around this new song that we wrote especially for it and make it into a bit more of a solid release. Something that people could get their teeth into a bit.”
In the full interview, Tim talks more about the covers chosen and why, the broad spectrum of influences and how they shaped The Amenta‘s sound, how much the songs were changed from the original versions, the process of reworking each song, the awesome album cover, the one original song on Plague Of Locus and if that is a hint at the future direction of their music, the upcoming tour and what to expect and more.