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Amon > Liar in Wait > Reviews
Amon - Liar in Wait

Brutal/Technical Deicide - 20%

Petrus_Steele, July 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2012, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

After the breakup of the original Deicide lineup, the Hoffman brothers left the band in 2004 after a dispute with Glen Benton. Reformed under Deicide's original name, even though Roadrunner Records at the time demanded the band to change the name because it was recognizably taken from Diamond Head or Mercyful Fate, only now it looks like they insisted on using the old name. So at this point in time, this band should be treated just as a different band.

As they reformed Amon and released this debut album in 2012, they've also re-released the Amon demos from the late 80s. For whatever reason, the latter was pointless and seemingly for marketing purposes, I mean if they clearly despise Glen, then why re-release the fucking thing instead of maybe - I don't know... RE-RECORD it with the new vocalist? Just food for thought.

As they reformed in 2007, the Hoffman brothers recruited Mike Petrak for drums and a young Jesse 'Jechael' Jolly for vocals and bass (who was also in After Death; the first reformation name of Nocturnus). Not only this lineup resembles the original Deicide lineup, but you get yet another fucking death metal band about Satanism - but there's a catch... they sound kinda technical like the famous German technical death metal band, Necrophagist.

Never mind that the mix sounds bad. Starting with Among Us, you get some similar riffs and death growls from Deicide, the bass is probably nonexistent, and the drums sound atrocious; good, but bad. The song's chorus is really of Deicide very own. The similarities are just there, it's like Amon is a Deicide cover band. Lash Thy Tongue and Vomit Lies sounds like a mess. The guitars are dissonance in the very bad way, riff wise, the drums overwhelm the mix, and the vocals are unimpressive. Same with the title track, only the guitar solo is REALLY like Necrophagist, Sentience and Sapience (not only it's too rushed, it also has a very Necrophagist-ish solo), and Spat Forth from the Darkness; but more Suffocation-ish kind of a mess. Reaching for Flesh's outro was very brutal - that's about it. Rest of track is beyond forgettable. Wraith of Gaia also tries to impress with them technical guitar notes - but by now as the album concludes probably know by now how it ends...

Eye of the Infinite has been the only song I liked from the band. While it reminds me of Necrophagist, the actual song sounds much, much better than anticipated. The blast beats sound great, the guitars are groovy, technical AND melodic, and challenging. So some kind of originality is formed there - and you guessed it by now, it's the best track. The longest track, Semblance of Man is perhaps the most technical track on the album. It reminds me of Suffocation a little bit. While it lacked just like almost the entire album, at least it has the most potential.

That's one way to tarnish your legacies, Hoffmans, not to mention that even when this album is quite groovy it's just unoriginal. For one, the lyrical themes - as I said above, just another band that sings about Satanism and even anti-Christianity, the technicality is in the likes of Necrophagist, and the brutality is in the likes of Suffocation. You simply can't get behind that.

As I was writing this review, I noticed that both Mike & Jesse aren't in the band anymore. Mike wasn't in the band since the debut was released, and Jesse wasn't in the band since 2016. In 2017, a native Floridian, Ron Parmer, along with Mike Vredeveld who're both in the bands Bloodmessiah and Catalysis joined the band; Ron in 2017 and Mike (not to be confused with the original drummer) in 2019. Ron also plays drums for another native Florida band, Brutality. Also in 2019, the brothers have found a very new bassist and according to his info Amon is his first-ever band, and a new vocalist. So by the looks of it the brothers might reunite with the new lineup, maybe return to perform live or even release a new album - just as long as it doesn't sound like shit and mixed properly.

Amon - Liar In Wait - 55%

Orbitball, September 3rd, 2013

Damn, I was highly disappointed when I got this CD because I was expecting a progression musically with the Hoffman brothers, but I was ravenously mistaken. What we have here in a conglomeration of putrid riffs that are just stacked together and bear no real significance in an artistic metaphysical sense. These guys have amassed no songs here that are worthy of praise. A bunch of tremolo picked frenzies with fast blast beat drumming that really goes nowhere. You can listen to this repeatedly and still form the same opinion about it. It doesn't get better the more that you listen to it.

Maybe 3-4 minute songs that are put together so poorly by these guys showing no admiration by me when I expected was a winner in the purest sense. Highly overrated, the music on here just makes no sense. Riffs are just going nowhere and the Hoffman brothers should just quit, kind of like how they regressed in Deicide. I cannot find a song on here that has any real noteworthiness or meaningful guitar riffs that they once were so great in creating. I'm not sure who is worse now, Deicide or Amon. Both are pretty rancid in their playing abilities and total lack of songwriting skills.

Nothing stood out here musically, the vocals were monotonous deep throat grunts with occasional backup screams, but really nothing that fits in on this album. I was ferociously pissed off when I heard this. It is definitely due to the total lack of ingenuity and intelligence in song structures. These guys just wanted to put something out there and hope that fans of Deicide would capitalize on Amon and flock to them, rather than their former band. They sound like newer Deicide with no balls. Sure the solos were good as usual, I mean immaculate, but just all over the fretboard and nothing really to show for during the riffs the were so poorly played out.

The production sound is decent and all of the instruments were well mixed together, but the overall sound was kind of flat. Musically, this release is just a disaster. I mean it's an insult to the death metal community and other people that are into death metal should steer clear of this album. Don't dish out what they want for you to buy and expect to be a revenge against Deicide. The Hoffman brothers seemed to not spend much time forming their riffs so that listeners can decipher what's being played and is symbolic. There is no innovation in writing abilities here. A total waste of an album.

In summation, this band deserves no praise for their efforts. To me, they totally failed in pretty much all aspects. They showed nothing in the riffs that were well thought out or noteworthy, they just slapped a bunch of idiotic sounds and expected to make meaningful songs out of it. There was nothing about this album that I truly enjoyed. Nothing I mean NOTHING stood out in terms of any of the riffs making sense or were well thought out. A total abomination and destruction of death metal insulting the genre just to cash in and make a couple more bucks from death metal or Deicide fans. Both deserve their place in hell, they earned it with this piece of crap album. I'd advise not getting it!

Deicide's loss is death metal's gain - 90%

MrVJ, June 26th, 2012

What do you think of when someone mentions the band Deicide? Is it their propensity for all things anti-Christian? How about their influential and legendary albums “Legion” and “Deicide“? Maybe it’s that Glen Benton has always been known to be a complete dick? I could keep going on about the things the band brings to mind, but to me I immediately think about the Hoffman brothers, Eric and Brian. The messy break up between them and Glen Benton was highly publicized in 2004, and we kept hearing from both camps how bad things had gotten. I wondered what was going to happen with Brian and Eric, but in 2007 they brought back their pre-Deicide band, Amon. The group released a new song called ‘Among Us’ this past Halloween, and almost eight months later came the release of “Liar In Wait“. Once they had been the undisputed kings of death metal riffs, and now they are back to try and reclaim their throne.

The Hoffman brothers are joined by Jesse “Jocheal” Jolly (bass/vocals; ex-Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky) and Mike Petrak (drums; ex-Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky), and you can immediately hear this new blood in Amon come at you fullbore in the opening track, ‘Among Us’. The ferocity and speed Amon shows has already bested everything Deicide has released in the past 12 years. While the track itself is good, it really doesn’t blow me away until the very end with the tapping lead. So, what does that mean for the rest of “Liar In Wait“?

It means that ‘Among Us’ is just a tease for what was to come. Once ‘Eye of the Infinite’ takes off with its harsh tone you are instantly hooked. Everything from Jocheal’s deep growls, Mike’s one-handed drum rolls, to the Hoffman’s trademark riffing is gold from beginning to end. If I had to make any type of comparisons, I would say “Liar In Wait” is a mixture of “Legion” and “Serpents Of The Light” in being able to combine those grotesque melodic leads with extreme precision and intense speed. However, while those comparisons may be appropriate, Amon are doing original compositions that never would have made the cut in Deicide, such as the entirety of ‘Liar In Wait’ and ‘Semblance Of Man’. This lends the band to finally step out of Deicide‘s looming shadow and show the world that they will not be cast down by the endless comparisons.

Amon‘s production is absolutely stellar. There is nothing that could have gone better for the Hoffman’s than to have the razor sharp tone they do. There isn’t one note that sounds out of place nor weak, which in turn creates a perfect atmosphere to hear their blasphemous return. Mike’s drums are not over-powering and help the music move forward, and even sets up some really heavy portions. The only thing that I wish were different was Jocheal’s bass. As usual in modern death metal, it is completely non-existent. Speaking again of Jocheal, while I think his vocals are better than what Glen Benton does now, he still doesn’t hold a candle to what Glen could do back in his “Legion” days. His growls can get old at times and makes me wish for some more variance, but that is where the backing screams come in.

For years I have been saying that the last few albums Deicide has release are completely worthless, with the last one in my eyes being “Insineratehymn“. However, it is time for a new group to knock Deicide off their boring high horse and help make them realize that losing the Hoffman brothers was a fate worse than death. Brian and Eric’s tenacity is something that should not have been underestimated, and I am sure that even Glen Benton himself couldn’t argue with”Liar In Wait” beating the absolute piss out of everything he has contributed to the world of death metal in the past 12 years. It amazes me that right now Amon is without a label to call home. I am not sure why that is, but every single label that dabbles in death metal are fools for not picking them up. Amon is back with a vengeance, and I eagerly await for new material.

Originally written for Metal Blast:

Sounds exactly like you expected. - 68%

Zodijackyl, June 22nd, 2012

Remember all of those Deicide albums after the first two? This sounds like them. There's a blur of fast Deicide-style riffing, some neoclassical shredding that stands out from the riffing, a Glen Benton clone on vocals, and some guitar wankery that sounds like Necrophagist. Most of it is exactly what you would expect from this. I'll spare the story, because if you aren't familiar with the story of Deicide and the Hoffman brothers, then you probably wouldn't stumble across this self-released album that relies solely on their fame and legacy for promotion.

The drumming is a bit different than Deicide - there's more blasting, though when there isn't blasting, there's still fast double bass. The bass just fills in the low end below the guitars, it's nothing special. The vocalist emulates Glen Benton effectively - in a way, that's lame, in another way, he's pretty damn good. The new guys don't stray much from the formula that the old guys perfected so well that they haven't tried much of anything new in 20 years. They're top notch for Deicide-clone death metal, so I suppose that's excellent if you're really into that.

As you would expect when the guitarists are running the show, there's some extra guitar solos and wankery towards the end of the album - the first few tracks are more relentless and straight riffing, but the lead guitars appear more as the album goes on. The riffing relies a lot on chaotic, dissonant tremolo picking, for a convenient comparison, let's just say it sounds like everything these guys have done in the past, because they did their thing again. This time around they have put more of an emphasis on things being technical, but other than the solos getting eight years flashier than the last album they played on, it's standard regulation Deicide.

Unfortunately, it's just not the same quality as their past works. Death metal often loses an edge, almost losing its honesty and feeling when it's refined while trying to retain the same feeling. They played with vengeance and passion and put together a masterpiece in 1990, they refined that to a furious, technical, higher-speed album in 1992, and since then they haven't really lived up to those, but they're put up a good enough effort that nobody complained until they deliberately half-assed two albums to get out of a bad record deal they signed a decade before. This is sort of a continuation of their comeback album from 2004, with the guitar work getting flashier and a bit less chaotic. While I am thankful that the production has a dark sound that compliments the music nicely, the whole album is still far from the atmosphere and feel of their early works, and it doesn't even feel as chaotic and furious as their mid-90s efforts.

The bottom line is that your enjoyment of this album can be directly linked to how much you like Deicide's past works. If you loved everything, you'll enjoy this. If you liked the first two but were indifferent towards the rest, you'll like it at first then forget about it. If you don't like Deicide, then you wouldn't listen to this album in the first place.

The Hoffman brothers have done as aging folks in Florida tend to do - they shot par for the course, but they had fun doing it.

The Hoffman Brothers' Revenge - 95%

terrorandhubris, May 28th, 2012

So, after many months of scanning the various internet frequencies, former Deicide shredders Eric and Brian Hoffman’s creation has found its way to my ears. I think it’s important that I set the scene for this one, really. The Hoffman brothers were the guitar duo that helmed Deicide’s dissonant riffing since their inception. Deicide was previously known as Amon, and a few demos were released under that name, before they settled on their current moniker. There’s almost hilariously bad blood between the Hoffmans and Deicide frontman Glen Benton, to the point where death threats have been exchanged, and rumours of the attempted murder of Benton by the hands of one of the brothers surfaced, apparently all due to Benton owning the rights to Deicide. With that, the brothers departed and disappeared for a while, resurfacing recently under the name Amon. Deicide have released their best material, in my opinion, thanks to God reincarnate Ralph Santolla, and it’s clear from this offering of crushing death metal, that the Hoffman brothers are much better off not being in Deicide too.

The album kicks off with the pleasing, but not too impressive Among Us. This was actually released a good seven months ago, when the album was originally slated for release. Pushing past a not so mindblowing start, the second track, Eye of the Infinite, showcases just how much the Hoffman brothers have grown in their eight year absence. I was expecting their standard Deicide shred, atonal and an avoidance to melody, but when they claimed that Amon’s work would be more technical than their work with Deicide, I was not expecting this.

I’m not going to lie here. The soloing is incredible. It’s mature, insanely fast, and quite surprisingly melodic. Very reminiscent of Malmsteen in my mind. The Hoffman brothers’ fretboard pyrotechnics are clearly the star of the show here, with solo after solo adding a hugely dynamic atmosphere to the Morbid Angel-esque brutality. I’ve heard some great solos, but this is just glorious. The rapid alternate picking sections and impressively clean sweep picking, coupled with a clearly improved knowledge of theory and neoclassical playing, make these just incredibly fun to listen to.

The rest of the band perform admirably. Jechael, Amon’s vocalist and bassist, is clearly not fucking around with the idea of being incredibly low. In fact, he went so far as to conscript the use of a seven string bass, though it is admittedly wasted on this album. No, again, the guitars are the stars of the show. His vocals are great, though. He can growl as well as the best of the death metal crowd, and his screams are refreshing. Drummer Mike Petrak is brilliant throughout, blasting almost constantly, and adding some great, if slightly uncreative fills.

As I said, I was not expecting this. I must admit, Deicide has proved far greener pastures in the Hoffman brothers’ absence, but they have proved that they too are far better off without their former band. The riffs are brilliant, subtly technical, and very creative. While the album seems to deliberately avoid the hooks and catchy side of death metal, that’s what makes it catchy. It’s so inaccessible that it’s incredibly fun to listen to for an ear trained to technical death metal.

I highly recommend this album to anyone who was a fan of Scars of the Crucifix and more recent Deicide material. The ideas are original, and Eric and Brian seem to have taken with them the best elements of pre-Santolla Deicide, and improved on them with maturity, focus and complexity. The songs aren’t the aimless and quite generic older Deicide material that was expected, but fresh and lucid auditory assaults. The production is solid, the sound is balanced well, and the drums have a brilliant acoustic feel to them. I am monumentally pleased with this album. So please that I can even forgive the seven month wait.