“Parasight Lost”: The Amenta’s Irresistible Industrial Woe (Early Track Stream)
Sometimes, all it takes to make a song command attention is a good, solid groove. In the case of The Amenta's latest single "Parasight Lost," we have exactly that: a bouncy, indecipherable pattern that drives the verse forward without feeling simplistic or limiting. But additionally fused together with the band's capable blend of extreme metal and drenched in an inescapable sense of industrial smog, the track showcases the group's command of both atmosphere and rhythm. We're premiering the song, taken from the band's upcoming album Revelator, right now -- check it out below, plus some insights from keyboardist Timothy Pope.
That befuddling groove centers the song's rhythm, seemingly always one unexpected shift ahead of the listener but leaving a clear head-banging pace inferrable. Just as soon as it starts to fit a pattern, a chaotic final phrase wipes any mental tally of the beats away. Pope explains that this rhythm was the foundational building block of the song:
The composition of "Parasight Lost" started with the drum beat from the verse. We had an idea for a repetitive, post-punk style drum beat with a bass line that was played percussively, along with the kick drums. Once we had that basic rhythm of the verse down, Erik [Miehs, guitars] improvised some ambient guitar noise and notes and the basis of the verse was complete. Working on the chorus riff, which has two parts, I remember Erik and I were trying to find the perfect balance for the tail of the riff where it stretched the time signature enough to add some strangeness without losing the forward momentum and drive of the song.
Guitar is exercised more as a percussive implement than a melodic instrument, switching from rapid-fire chugs to hammering chords as the song's intensity surges, shaping itself around the reiterated cadence that centers the song. Screams, howls, and pleading clean vocals interlace into a sneering theme instead, accompanied by the haze of electronic elements that help curate the hopeless gloom the track is steeped in.
This shifting of responsibilities creates interesting dynamics, such as the doomy mid-section where we see glitchy, tremolo guitar introduced. "With the repeated vocal phrase and guitar acting as the ambient element, it’s the bass, tied in with the drums, that leads the part," Pope notes. "The bass line gets more and more complex as it goes on, and the way that section snaps back into the verse was one of those magic accidents."
In the context of the as-yet-to-be-revealed full album, "Parasight Lost" and its inescapable groove is only one part of the whole, and certainly not (going by the previously-released singles) the norm. Pope, noting that each song is written individually but positioned as "a reaction to the song before," explains further:
"Parasight Lost" is an interesting song in the context of the album, and of all our previous music. It’s not our most brutal track, though it has its share of aggression. I think it’s a much more tense track, the power comes from that tension rather than blasting people over the head with hyper speed drums. The song comes on in the second half of the album and follows the song "Twined Towers", which I consider to be the centrepiece of the album. Where "Twined Towers" is a sprawling epic, "Parasight Lost" seems to snap the album back into an immediacy and builds the tension that leads into the ambient noisescape of "Wonderlost".
What brings everything together is a carefully cultivated sense of uncomfortable suspense -- Pope sums up the driving force behind both "Parasight Lost" and Revelator as a whole:
Our process involves chasing ideas that we find exciting, but we’re always looking to create that darkness and tension that I think is key to really good extreme metal.
Check out Invisible Oranges' curated collection on the BrooklynVegan shop.