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Amanita Virosa: Original Plague

Just when I thought I had a handle on the nuances of metal genres, along comes Amanita Virosa and “hospital metal.” I first noticed that descriptor while listening to the album on my phone and thought it was nothing but a weird mistake. iTunes messes with my album art, so why wouldn’t it mess with genre descriptions? But then I saw that same mistake in the band’s promo materials and on the web and figured it wasn’t a mistake at all. Then I started wondering what it meant.

The answer is that I have no idea, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s certainly not about sleeping and getting better. This is the music of suffering, not of healing. Like Megadeth’s well-known “Sweating Bullets,” the songs on this album reflect on madness, sickness, and human suffering. If those topics sound interesting, you’re in the right place. After all, this is hospital metal.

Musically, the band is aggressive and unrelenting. For the most part, they blend extreme death metal with keyboards that lend a slightly symphonic and slightly ambient touch to everything. When used right, keyboards can provide a rich texture to death metal. For this band, they also add extra bits of melody, drive, and, dare I say, charm. As I listened, I found myself drawn to the keyboards mostly because they are always up to something.

This is Amanita Virosa’s second album. Their first, entitled Asystole, was heavy and memorable, but this album is tighter, more focused. If you like extreme death metal or if you want to know what hospital metal sounds like, look no further. I liked “I Walk Away” and “Despair Is For The Living” the most but also enjoyed deep cuts like “Hatred Becomes Entwined” and “Longing.”

Track Listing:
1. Prelude
2. I Walk Away
3. My Enemy
4. Despair Is For The Living
5. Waek Strong and Wise
6. Open Your Mouth
7. Armias, Ole Huorani
8. This Night
9. Hatred Becomes Entwined
10. Longing

Added: July 27th 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 451
Language: english

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