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June 26, 2024

Ampscent’s self-titled album “Ampscent” stands as a formidable entry into the industrial music genre, blending harsh textures, mechanical rhythms, and an overarching sense of dystopian atmosphere. This album is a powerful statement by the Polish duo (forged by Jacek Doroszenko and Marcin Sipiora), filled with both technical prowess and a wry commentary on the mechanization of the modern world.

The opening track, “Hospitality,” is anything but welcoming. It’s an ironic title for a piece that immerses the listener in a relentless barrage of industrial noise and grinding rhythms. The metallic clangs and drone-like hums create a soundscape reminiscent of a (ramshackle) factory floor, setting a grim yet compelling tone for the album. The technical execution of layered, distorted samples showcases Ampscent’s skill in creating a cohesive yet chaotic sound.

Following the harsh opener, “Intro” offers a brief respite with its more subdued, though still ominous, sound. The track features repetitive, mechanical sounds that build gradually, creating a sense of anticipation. It serves as a transition into the album’s core, effectively using minimalist industrial elements to maintain tension.

“Boiling Field” elevates the intensity with a pulsating beat and searing electronic textures. The track’s title suggests a landscape under extreme pressure, and the music delivers on this promise with layers of distorted synths and aggressive percussion. The interplay between rhythm and noise is masterfully handled, creating a track that is both unsettling and mesmerizing. The technical precision in balancing these elements ensures that the chaos remains controlled and impactful.

“Arrival” introduces a rhythmic complexity with its syncopated beats and intricate sound design. The mechanical rhythms are complemented by eerie, high-pitched tones that weave in and out, creating a sense of disorientation. This track exemplifies Ampscent’s ability to blend subcutaneous rhythmic structure with atmospheric depth, making for a compelling listening experience.

The centerpiece of the album, “Nothing But The World,” is a sprawling ambient-industrial epic. Spanning over sixteen minutes, it’s an immersive journey through a dystopian soundscape that seems like melting into an acid soup. The track evolves through various phases, from grinding, metallic noise to more rhythmic, almost (brain)danceable sections, and back into chaotic disarray. This track is a technical tour de force, showcasing Ampscent’s mastery over long-form composition and their ability to maintain interest through sheer sonic diversity. The ironic undertone here is palpable, presenting a world filled with sound yet seemingly devoid of hope.

Closing the album, “Meta Scenery” offers a reflective, almost contemplative end to the industrial onslaught. The track features less aggressive sounds but maintains a dark, brooding atmosphere. The use of mechanical samples and overstretched subdued rhythms creates a sense of finality and introspection. This track ties together the themes of the album, leaving the listener to ponder the implications of a mechanized world.

“Ampscent” is an industrial tour de force that demands attentive listening. The production quality is impeccable, with each track carefully crafted to balance raw power with intricate detail. The album’s structure, from the intense opening to the contemplative closing, is thoughtfully designed to take the listener on a journey through varied sonic landscapes. Approach with an open mind and a resilient spirit — you’ll find a world of intensity and meaning within its relentless rhythms and mechanical soundscapes.

Review by Vito Camarretta @ Chain D.L.K.

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