Like Shadows

No Idea Records (2011) Keenan Harrison

Ampere – Like Shadows cover artwork
Ampere – Like Shadows — No Idea Records, 2011

Ampere is an emotional hardcore band out of Amherst, Massachusetts known for incredibly chaotic live shows done in short bursts, sometimes lasting less than 15 minutes. A DIY ethos and vegan politics course through the veins of this bands’ lyrics and image. Arriving shortly after the “Level Plane” era of bands like Saetia andNeil Perry, Ampere continued the path tread by those before them releasing album after album of unrelenting emotional destruction.

This album starts off like a jolt to the heart. Frantic and relentless drum and bass lines with forceful guitar tones and the shrieking usually reserved for murder victims pound this album deep inside your ears. This album is incredibly flowing, yet that also means that it’s a little hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. This makes for a very nicely transitioned album but makes it hard to differentiate between ups and downs. The album clocks in at an amazing 13 minutes even though it has 15 songs. 

The first song that breaches a minute is, ironically, the most standout track. “Of Nightmare Reality” was easily my favorite—or at least the most memorable track on the album. Well paced yet still driven, its peaking crescendos and ambient bridges make for a rollercoaster ride of musical prowess. This album smacks you on the head over and over again but unfortunately it’s over before it even really starts. It has a great beginning but it leaves you longing for more. The midway point at the end of track 8, “Statement of Capitulation,” is a beautiful interlude but, once again, they don’t give enough time to really let the music breathe. I feel like Ampere in its current form could take note from Funeral Diner’s The Underdark by taking a little bit more time to let the music settle in. The finishing track, “Tiny Victories,” is another gem that shows us just what Ampere is capable of if they really give themselves time. 

This is not the best album in the genre, nor is it the best release from Ampere but it’s a fun, chaotic piece that is surely worth a listen. If you really enjoyed this album, I urge you to check out the rest of their catalogue as well as the releases from some of their counterparts.

Ampere – Like Shadows cover artwork
Ampere – Like Shadows — No Idea Records, 2011

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