Neo-metal act Amen was formed in Los Angeles in 1994 by singer Casey Chaos and guitarist Paul Fig; eventually onetime Ugly Kid Joe drummer Shannon Larkin signed on, bringing with him ex-Snot guitarist Sonny Mayo and ex-Snot bassist John "Tumor" Fahnestock as well, and this line-up signed to the newly-formed Roadrunner imprint I Am Records in early 1999. Their self-titled debut LP followed later that year and their sophomore effort We Have Come for Yor Parents was issued in fall 2000, turning lots of heads.
A string of misfortunes and missed opportunities soon followed, including abandonment by bandmates, plunging frontman Casey Chaos into a period of frustration and betrayal, a dark chapter which he documented into songs that can be heard on Amen's latest record, Death Before Musick. Casey Chaos has a history of overcoming adversity, and through his songs he's turned negativity, ongoing health problems, and music industry qualms into an appealing positive.
With a new line up, where Chaos found four do-or-die-trying soul mates: Matt Montgomery (guitar), Rich Jones, formerly of the Black Halos (guitar), Scott S. Sorry (Bass), and Luke Johnson (drums), Amen was finally able to deliver Chaos’ uncompromising messages with visceral purity.
Casey Chaos met System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian at Australia's "Big Day Out" festival in 2002, and the two instantly connected through their mutual love of punk rock, black metal and Iggy Pop. Therefore, when Malakian heard Chaos's latest demos, he knew he had to be involved, to the point where he staked his reputation on Amen and made them the first signing to his eatURmusic label. "I see Casey as a visionary" declares Malakian, "Someone who really goes up there and gives 100% of his physical being and self."
At this point, the UK has already embraced Amen's abrasive punk/metal genius, and Chaos & co. have amassed a string of magazine covers and high profile awards across
the pond, including being voted 'Overall Best Band In The World' and 'Best Live Band In The World' by readers of flagship hard rock magazine Metal Hammer. In 2002 Amen became the first unsigned band to play the main stages at England's prestigious Reading and Leeds festivals, while metal bible Kerrang! magazine drooled that "this is the sound of the 21st Century."
Death Before Musick is Amen’s most song-driven disc to date, yet retains the signature nothing-to-lose vitriol and unflinching integrity - a black flower in a white desert of increasingly corporate, conformist rock records. Death Before Musick is Amen's definitive musical statement, a furious, frenetic outpouring of pummeling punk irreverence and caffeinated hard-core angst, laced with serrated metal edges and a Sex Pistol’s sneer. "In my opinion it's the most influential record we've made," Chaos announces. "There's metal moments, there's real punk moments ... a lot of attitude, honesty and passion."
From the ominous opening strains of "Liberation For ...," Death Before Musick channels '70s and '80s punk rock(Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Fugazi), modern metallic menace, and a flailing, anarchistic adrenaline which is all their own. Amidst the crafted chaos, the big hooks still swing: “Hello (One Chord Lovers)” and “California's Bleeding” will pinball around your brain for days. Amen have made a timeless record because rage, alienation and great songs never go out of fashion. With Death Before Musick, Amen are armed to infiltrate airwaves and audiences everywhere. Brace yourselves.
Source: Courtesy of Columbia Records
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