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fucked up and miserable - 70%

The_Ghoul, August 10th, 2008

This is really hard to review. In my opinion, doom metal, especially the more extreme varieties, should always strive to be uncomfortable and soul crushing. And Skitliv's amfetamin certainly does this. To a T. This sounds like a soundtrack to crushing hate and despair. I know that sounded cliche', but this truly does sound like addict music. Being a recovering addict myself, I know what it feels like to have the hopeless, misanthropic, hateful anger at the world that only an addict at his personal bottom can experience.

Unfortunately, this is also really hard music to listen to. Not because the atmosphere is uncomfortable, but because it's really cluttered and messy. However, a part of me thinks that was intentional. It's cluttered to reflect the cluttered and almost schizophrenic state of mind that an addict has. That doesn't make it any easier to listen to, though. The studio tracks are the real oddities here, but they seem to be a bit cleaner done than the live tracks, especially the live version of amfetamin, which literally turns into chaotic noise, feedback, and screaming at the end. A great way to end a CD, maybe, but I'll be damned if I've listened to this more than twice all the way through. It's good for the occasional listen, but I can't force myself to listen to it that often. It's simply not that good.

Even when an artist experiments, there has to be a certain amount of "meat", so to speak, in the music. That is, something for the listener to chew on for a while. A musical theme to ponder whilst listening to the aforementioned music. There's very little meat on Amfetamin, very little substance to hold onto. When it works, it's very magical, and almost sadomasochistic in its tendencies. Unfortunately, it doesn't work a lot of the time, or features jarring shifts of atmosphere that are frankly too hard on the listener to expect him to keep up. Again, I get the impression that was intentional.

In short, there's nothing wrong with making a really weirded out, jarring, uncomfortable, and at times amelodic release; just as long as you don't expect people to like it. Which is all the better, I suppose, because I doubt Maniac wants people to like it. He wants people to hate it, because for a while I think he hated himself. However, even if you take that into account, Amfetamin is simply too spotty and reckless to appreciate fully. It's not terrible, and I can definitely see the good points, but it's also very inconsistent, which in the end kills it, or at least maims it. Get this as an oddity, but if you want a solid album, wait until the full length comes out, this is more a odds and ends release.