No Sanctuary: The Spiderleg Recordings
“No Gods, No Masters” – amazing how that simple, iconic statement managed to sum up the collective outlook of not only Amebix but subsequent generations of crust punks and metal minions.
Hell, it’s such an anthemic idea Amebix recycled it a few years later on Monolith’s “Chain Reaction.”
Amebix dressed like the Cult and rocked like Venom gone punk and this remastered collection typifies pretty much everything that would define crust.
After a legal skirmish lasting a few years, Alternative Tentacles, which released Amebix’s stone fucking classic Arise!, has finally secure the rights to release the punkers’ earliest music. These larval tracks, while far more simplistic than those that would appear on later albums, are a significant trip through the WABAC machine to view the birth of what would become crust punk.
The outlook is suitably apocalyptic and the songs lack any subtlety and are generally declamatory – “No Gods, No Masters,” “The Church is For Sinners” and “Sanctuary” (as in there is no). Though Amebix’s swampy dynamics were already in play, but the later metallic influences were only in their nascent stages.
Though not as polished or as crucial as their later output, Amebix recorded these earliest songs with scrounged money while the band was living in Bristol squats with junkies and hookers. The songs’ production lags well behind later albums and that poor production often saps the music’s energy and immediacy. But “Curfew” is a short, fast and loud punk battering ram, “Sunshine Ward” is the kind of drug addled tour throw the psychoward Amebix would later perfect on “Largactyl” and the ferocious roar of “Winter” is a sign post to everything that would be realized on Arise!
Heavy Metal Records put kiss off record Monolith back in widespread circulation last year and now Alternative Tentacles is assuring the third wing of the Amebix triptych is readily available, allowing us to trace the progression of crust’s seminal auteurs from an ugly British squat straight through their metal inflected denouement.