Album by Kent band Amplexus leaves more to be desired

Douglas Hite

New release has drive, but doesn’t go far

Courtesy Amplexus

Credit: Ron Soltys


Deus Ex Machina

Released by independent

Stater rating (out of five): **«

Rarely do bands from Kent — despite their large local fan-bases — tend to go anywhere: physically or metaphorically. Amplexus obviously wants to break that trend — and they just might have the drive to do it.

Drive is definitely one thing that this band has. Whether they have the talent or charisma to do as such may be up for debate.

Amplexus is of a new breed of bands — a new breed that is getting old fast and may have stemmed out from a conglomeration of hardcore and metal music, but really cannot relate to either.

Intending on incorporating a host of vocal melodies with a gutsy wall o’ sound guitar has often been attempted with this new breed of post-hardcore hybrids. And it doesn’t work. Upon adding constant melodic breakdowns and a plethora of harmonic guitar effects, metal loses its attitude, hard-core loses its hardness, and rock just doesn’t rock as it should. As obvious as these lessons might be, few musical groups have learned it. Amplexus hasn’t either.

When pertaining to their new release, Deus Ex Machina, Amplexus’ songs tend to be non-descript. Every song contains angsty vocal melodies, stereotypical hard-core verbal punctuations, a soft harmonized guitar intro, and an intensely ornate rhythm section.

Praise be to Amplexus’ drummer for at least keeping things interesting throughout this Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of mediocre hard rock. The drummer, no doubt, can hold his own. In fact, this entire group has more talent than they know what to do with. If they knew what to do with it, they likely wouldn’t have made this album.

As far as production, this album is incredibly well produced — capitalizing on the crispness and increased capabilities of modern production. A great deal of work went into this album, and I feel as if it sounds just as the band had intended it to.

For fans of Amplexus, and the ever-growing subgenre of emotional, rhythm-centric, angst-driven post-hardcore metal this album is bound to be a tour-de-force of exactly what they want. For the majority of music listeners, Amplexus is not likely to leave you awe-struck.

Contact all reporter Douglas Hite at [email protected].