Century Media Records
Active since 2010, London's Amulet made their debut with the 2011 demo, "Cut the Crap". Independently released on cassette with a limited run of 222 copies (22 yellow, 25 red and 175 white) that recording would eventually see a limited release of 100 copies as part of a CD/DVD package before it was released as a 7" by Mordgrimm Records (100 white, 400 black-now sold old!). Somewhere in-between all of that chaos the four-track demo in question was magically transformed into a digital download and that would proved to be my first exposure to this spellbinding British heavy metal band. Like many before me I was hooked with "Cut the Crap" all but turning me into an obsessed Amulet fan! And now we are gathered together to behold the glory that is "The First". Released this past September, "The First" is exactly how I imagined it would be. Without mincing words, "The First" by Amulet is partly A) A tribute to the likes of Diamond Head, Blitzkrieg, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Tokyo Blade (with a few sparkling glimpses of Budgie) as evident by the first half or so of this 14-track album and B) Ozzy/Ronnie Black Sabbath appreciation day as heard the clearest on "Talisman"/"The Sacrifice" and expressed lyrically with this album's theme of black magic, mysticism and warning's about "preachers and fools" ("Wicked 'n Cruel")! Along the way you might pick out some highly appreciated affection for Italy's one and only Goblin (the instrumental "The Flight" is spectacular!), but musically this dark and spooky LP is all about the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene and occult doom metal. The CD version at least contains a cover of Coven's "Wicked Woman" all but furthering that particular agenda and if there's any fault to be had with "The First" I certainly haven't found it yet! Jamie Elton's vocals elevate the mood and if his bewitching voice (all but snatched from the windpipes of many a great lead vocalist with Ozzy and Dio merely heading that pack!) isn't enough Elton's backing band features a guitar great in the making by way of 'Nip' Blackford! Who knows where this guy has been hiding, but one simply rule out the involvement of the black arts as 'Nip' comes across as another time traveler plucked from Britain's truly glorious heavy metal past and deposited in London's post-N.W.O.B.H.M. landscape! And that is simply two of the five members who were involved with making this memorable debut album! As the title suggests this is just the beginning for Amulet and if "The First" is this desirable one can only imagine what these Londoners might have up their sleeves for a sophomore outing!