Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Bleh - 50%

Immune_to_Poison, March 2nd, 2011

I tell you, it very seldom occurs that an album's booklet is a greater draw than the album itself, but here we are. Fuck it, I have to get this out of the way first and foremost. Ampeauty has the most interesting album booklet I've ever seen by a long shot. In line with Ampeauty's theme, we're treated to a plethora of photographs depicting pretty girls in prurient poses, all of whom happen to be less a limb or two. Complimenting them are lascivious props, including crutches, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and, of course, sex toys, the cornerstone of any seedy photo shoot. I'm not even gonna lie, they're a turn on. I don't know what it is, but there's something about an amputee with a really nice ass. Although the pictures could be considered exploitative in some circles, I for one applaud these women for having the courage to be sexy in spite of their diminished anatomy. I only wish I could applaud Pungent Stench the same.

"Lyndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)" is such a strong opener. From the triumphant, chest thumping drum intro to the serpentine riff of the hook to the grotesque subject matter, this is a Pungent Stench classic. Leave it to Stench to pen a song about Lynndie England's little Iraqi sex romp. What I especially enjoy about the song is that it's presented with the same sadistic grin that Lynndie so proudly beared in her incriminating photographs. I like that. It's not easy to convey sociopathy through song, but Stench did it, owing mostly to that gem of a guitar riff that unabashedly careens its way in and out of the arrangement. Such an ambitious exposition, in lieu of forshadowing another incredible death metal album like Been Caught Buttering or Masters of Moral, Servants of Sin, only set the stage for a disappointment.

The rest of Ampeauty is pretty wooden, barring its conclusion. From "Invisible Empire" on, Stench all but abandons the sadistic overtone of "Lyndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)", replacing it with a more heavy rock'n'roll oriented mindset, a la Club Mondo Bizarre, which is an album that I could live without ever hearing again in my life. Ampeauty's closer, "Fear the Grand Inquisitor" is like a bookend, being the only track on the album that matches the quality of its opener. I've always found the Spanish Inquisition to be a morbidly fascinating relic of Catholicism, if only because of the juxtaposition of God and burning people alive. Catering to my interest, "Fear the Grand Inquisitor" gets my imagination going with its brackish riffs and especially its ending section, which is replete with the tortured screams of the condemned, to which their condemnors are of course indifferent. Badass. Again, the remainder of Ampeauty ranges from subpar to satisfactory. There's too much lightheartedness and not enough heartlessness, if you will. I don't think it's a coincidence that the two best songs are the only ones that are based on real life events. It's simple. If it's real, it's more frightening. For all of Stench's pontifications regarding their kinky amputee fetishism, their glorification of body integrity identity disorder, their beloved milfs, it still reeks of fiction. Truth isn't always stranger than fiction, but it is immutably scarier.

When all is said and done, Ampeauty is marginally enjoyable at times, but can't wriggle its way out of the the black hole of mediocrity. Nor can it abscond from being an abdication, a letdown from the quality of previous works. Honestly though, if there was ever an album that's worth buying for the artwork alone, this is it.