Amken – Passive Aggression

With how similar thrash metal has been over the decades, even the slightest change can feel like a vicious breath of fresh air. Amken more than fit that bill for me when I discovered them eight years ago despite their sound remaining relatively the same as what the vast swathe of the thrash metal world was and still is bringing to the table. The Greek act has never been one to underestimate, but it’s been five years since we last heard from the name which always brings into question what comes next if anything. Fortunately, patience has won the day yet again with Amken returning to us, and it’s clear that they’re in better form than ever before with their sound still vicious and entertaining from the onset but wildly mature to a magnetic level for the band’s second full-length offering.

Progression like what’s on full display here is precisely what many strive for over their careers in music. It makes for a hell of contrast when brought side-by-side with previous releases to really show maturation the kind of which is viciously satisfying to experience in any form. When it comes to what Amken brings to the table for “Passive Aggression”, it becomes all but clear that this act simply hasn’t moved a few steps forward with their sound. Rather, the up-and-coming thrash quintet has rapidly evolved themselves into an absolute beast that doesn’t simply tap into the thrash roots that they have been clear to adhere to since their earliest days with the eight tracks on display here not just another hollow attempt at making thrash metal something that still deserves to be listened to. What “Passive Aggression” brings forward is anything but what such a name would insinuate as it’s every given facet of this release that shows us the undeniable evolution of Amken from its untouchable riffage to unforgiving energy to the production never sounding better for Amken with there not being so much as a single moment of filler to find within the 34 minutes of head-rattling, blood boiling power that is at a constant high for the very whole of the record.

Amken has never been one to scoff at in my experience but it is in every way that this record provides listeners with an emboldened Amken that we’ve never seen before, and it’s hard to argue the wild improvements upon excellence that has been achieved here. There’s always quality thrash metal to find out there should you simply look in the right place with it all but fitting that Chicago would be the birthplace for the vicious experience that is “Passive Aggression”.

LISTEN to “Passive Aggression” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Amken on Facebook here.

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