Personnel: The Baron von Aphid (vocals); Stig Da Pig (guitar, background vocals); George the Dragon (synthesizer); Spider (drums); Gabba Cox, Mr. Sooty (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Patrick Bird.
Liner Note Author: The Baron von Aphid.
Recording information: London, UK (02/02/1985); Sam Studios, Bristol, UK (02/02/1985); UK (02/02/1985); London, UK (06/1985); Sam Studios, Bristol, UK (06/1985); UK (06/1985); London, UK (1987); Sam Studios, Bristol, UK (1987); UK (1987).
Arise!, the second full-length studio album from Amebix, was the first outing with both George playing synth and Spider on drums. This, the final lineup, produced what is often considered quintessential Amebix material. The simplistic, almost tribal rhythms and apocalyptic aesthetic that defined Amebix gelled more firmly than ever before over the past seven years on this album, and peaked with 1987's Monolith. Arise is an important record, but was, remains, and probably will always be a commercial failure. A reflection of the bleak outlook of Europe's squatter community, Amebix combined a unique mixture of metal, punk, synthesizers, politics, and alcohol abuse to create the musical and lyrical landscape of a doomed population in a totalitarian, restrictive culture. "Arise," the album's title track, is a standout from much of the rest of Amebix's material: It contains some degree of hope for the future beyond the message of imminent danger and conflict. "There's some hard times coming down/There's the smell of revolution on the wind," but "Strength will flow through our unity." "Drink and Be Merry" wins the prize for weirdest Amebix song ever, with the melodic, dramatic vocal: "Drink and be merry/For tomorrow we may die." Fans of more polished metal acts like Sepultura and Neurosis may not really get the raw, gritty and bass-heavy sound of the crusty, metallic punk served up on Arise. While that may be true, both of those bands have obviously been influenced, Sepultura going so far as to thank Amebix in the liner notes for Chaos AD. For fans of the metal and hardcore punk underground scenes, Arise! may very well already be in your CD or record collection, alongside other classic albums by artists like Deviated Instinct, Extreme Noise Terror, and Rudimentary Peni. If it's not, you better take a break from sewing punk rock patches on your pants and pick up a copy before anyone notices how lame you are. ~ Paul Kott