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Axamenta is a Progressive Melodic Death/Black metal band from Belgium. The current bandmembers are: Tom Van Oosterwijck (Drums), Ian van Gemeren (Guitar, Orchestration and Clean Vocals), Sven Deckers (Guitar), Peter Meynckens (Vocals) and Jeroen Vingerhoed (Bass) The band was formed in 1993, and their first full album 'Codex Barathri' was released in 2002, with Yves Huts (current bass player with Epica) still in the band. In 2006 they released their latest album 'Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture', which has a more progressive and technical sound and uses orchestra samples instead of keyboards. The mixing of this latest album was done at the well known Fredman Studio in Sweden, and Daniel Gildenlöw from Pain of Salvation appears on it as a guest vocalist.

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AXAMENTA Codex Barathri album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Codex Barathri
Melodic Black Metal 2001
AXAMENTA Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Melodic Death Metal 2006

AXAMENTA EPs & splits

AXAMENTA Nox Draconis Argenti album cover 1.00 | 2 ratings
Nox Draconis Argenti
Melodic Black Metal 1999
AXAMENTA Incognation album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2004

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AXAMENTA Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture

Album · 2006 · Melodic Death Metal
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"Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Belgian black metal act Axamenta. The album was released through Shiver Records in May 2006. "Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture" is a concept album divided into three chapters. In addition to the lyrics the booklet features newspaper articles and notes from the protagonists, which along with the lyrics explain the full story. It´s a rather ambitious project but it´s beautifully done and works really well.

Stylistically the music on "Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture" is a mix of symphonic black metal in the vein of Cradle of Filth and especially Dimmu Borgir (with a slight nod towards Emperor too) and melodic death metal. The tracks are relatively complex and the atmosphere busy and epic, which provide the album with a progressive edge too. The fact that Daniel Gildenlöw from Pain Of Salvation guests with some clean vocals on the ballad type track "Threnody for an Endling" only strengthens the progressive link. This is not more progressive in nature than acts like Dimmu Borgir and Emperor are at their most challenging though, so this is first and foremost symphonic black metal. The vocals predominantly vary between snarling high pitched black metal type rasps and deeper death metal growling, but as mentioned above there are moments featuring clean vocals on the album too.

It´s music drenched in synths/keyboards/piano and because of it the soundscape is rather busy at times. The band make it work well though and there is a good coherence between the more "regular" metal instruments, the vocals and the synths/keyboards/piano. This is in large part due to the detailed and powerful sounding production, that helps to bring the best out in the music. The fact that these guys are skilled musicians and songwriters are not exactly issues either.

"Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture" is a high quality symphonic black metal album and to be honest that´s actually quite a surprise keeping in mind the rather questionable quality of their previous output. This one reeks class and determination though and upon conclusion it´s a very impressive release by Axamenta. High level musicianship, a professional, powerful, and detailed sound production, and intriguing songwriting to boot. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

AXAMENTA Nox Draconis Argenti

EP · 1999 · Melodic Black Metal
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"Nox Draconis Argenti" is the debut release by Belgian, Zwijndrecht, Antwerp based extreme metal act Axamenta (if you don´t count the two demos "Echoes (1995)" and "Into a Dream (1997)" which preceded it). "Nox Draconis Argenti" is an EP and the playing time is 28:01 minutes so in terms of quantity it´s well worth the money. The EP was independently released in November 1999.

The music on the album is symphonic and melodic black metal with lots of orchestral keyboard arrangements. Listening to the bombastic and symphonic classical intro "The Revenant's Dirge" almost led me to believe that this was a side project by the guys in Rhapsody of Fire. Throughout the album the keyboards are very dominant in the soundscape. The vocals are predominantly raspy black metal type singing but there are some clean female singing too. Now I mentioned that the music on "Nox Draconis Argenti" is black metal but the keyboards have a tendency to give the music a vanilla power metal touch that unfortunately ends up draining the music of energy and edge. And believe me it´s not like there´s much energy there to drain in the first place. The music is very generic to begin with. Nothing here haven´t been tried at least a hundred times with more success by artists like Dimmu Borgir or Old Man´s Child.

The musicianship aren´t too impressive either but the the most serious issue with "Nox Draconis Argenti" is the lack of power and memorable hooks in the music. The sound production is also below standard and "Nox Draconis Argenti" most of all sounds like a demo recording. The keyboards are too high in the mix and the raspy vocals are too low. The guitars sound thin and weak and the drums sound muddy. Upon conclusion this is not a good start for Axamenta and a 1 star (20%) rating is warranted for this generally poor quality release. Fortunately for Axamenta there were better things to come on future releases.

AXAMENTA Incognation

EP · 2004 · Melodic Black Metal
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"Incognation" is a self-released EP by Belgian symphonic/melodic black metal act Axamenta. The EP features 3 tracks and a total playing time of 16:32 minutes. "Incognation" was used by the band as a promo to attract labels, as the deal with The LSP Company they had for "Codex Barathri (2001)", was only for one album. The EP at the same time bridges the gap between their debut and 2nd full-length studio albums "Codex Barathri (2001)" and "Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture (2006)".

The music on the EP is symphonic/melodic and keyboard driven black metal. The 3 tracks are well composed, well played and powerful, and the sound production is professional and well sounding too. Influences come from artists like Dimmu Borgir and especially Old Man´s Child. If you´re familiar with Axamenta´s previous releases "Nox Draconis Argenti (1999)" (EP) and "Codex Barathri (2001)", you´re in for very few surprises, but since those releases were both of pretty poor quality, I owe it to Axamenta, to mention that "Incognation" is a decent quality product if you´re interested in the symphonic/melodic black metal style.

Upon conclusion "Incognation" is a good example of symphonic/melodic black metal with dominant keyboards, but it´s not a release that stands out as something special in the genre. A good quality yet pretty standard release deserving a 3 star (60%) rating.

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