Band – Amiensus/Oak Pantheon

Album – The Gathering II

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Progressive Black Metal/Atmospheric Folk Black Metal

Release Date – November 5, 2018

Label – Independent

Author – Hayduke X

Back in 2013, Minnesota based Amiensus released a split with fellow Minnesotans Oak Pantheon entitled Gathering. I was fortunate enough to have tuned into Oak Pantheon on From A Whisper, the full length they had released the year prior, so I was excited to see what the split brought. The short answer is excellence and an introduction to the also excellent Amiensus.

2018 brought the two projects full circle with the release of Gathering II. This time, each band offers a track to the release, as they did last time, but in addition, they sandwich a collaborative track in the middle. Big picture, this split is everything I’d hoped it would be, but let’s take a few moments to consider each track.

Up first is A Demonstration from the post-black duo Oak Pantheon. With whispered vocals over acoustic guitar and near tribal drumming, the seven minutes of this track start with a slow burning simmer. About two minutes in, the electric and harsher vocals kick in, but the pacing stays in simmer mode. The track is a great lead in to the rage of the middle track, getting to that point in it’s own right halfway through.

Tanequil, the collaborative track, is next on the list. The four and a half minutes start with some acoustic strumming, before jumping into righteous electric rage. Picking up where A Demonstration left off, the track burns with action. I’m not sure how the collaboration went down, but this feels very cohesive. It also feels like it would fit comfortably in the discography of either band.

Finally we have Now Enters Dusk, the solo effort by Amiensus. In slightly over seven minutes, the quartet wend their way through a heart wrenching take on atmospheric black metal, featuring a moderate pace, emotive riffs, well chosen drumming, and both clean and harsh vocals. Perhaps what I love the most about this track is the build and decline. Within those seven minutes, the track not only builds to a musical and emotional crescendo, but also comes down the other side to a sense of heavy melancholy. There is much intense beauty to be found here.

Though it doesn’t seem that either of these projects is making big waves, they both should be. The excellence of Gathering II, in addition to the discographies of both, really speaks for itself.

Biography:  Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.

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