[Review] Amelia Arsenic Channels A Near-Death Experience Into Bold New Music with 'Deathless' EP
Updated: Mar 29
In May of last year, Amelia Arsenic suffered health problems which landed her in the Vivantes Klinikum im Friedrichshain in Berlin, Germany. After multiple surgeries and a number of close calls, the former Angelspit frontwoman made a full recovery, and resumed touring and DJing. Inspired by her experience, she wrote four songs, the sum of which turned into her newest EP Deathless, the producer’s first since 2018’s Queen of Risk. Co-written with Pete Crane of Shiv-R, the fearsome foursome of industrial that comprise this EP radiates an eerie, yet welcoming feel.
“To Love is to Destroy” starts things off, with Arsenic’s trademark droning, almost robotic vocal delivery. The mid-tempo opener features punchy, deliberate bass and a succinct groove in the key of C. It sets a fittingly dark tone for what is ahead, and that’s what an opener should do.
“Wormwood” enters with an uneasy piano line, before giving way to a tucked-in bass line and a melodic vocal delivery courtesy of the Sydney native. It builds upon itself as it inches closer to the chorus, with an infectious, peculiar beauty to it.
“Purity” features a catchy melody over a simple, three-note bass line. Again, Arsenic’s chorus here is excellent, her vocals tempting the listener along this slower, more relaxed number. I found myself dancing in my seat on my first listen, and after I got over the awkwardness of feeling myself at my local coffee shop, I realized that this track leaves precisely nothing to be ashamed of.
The title track “Deathless” picks up the BPM with an initial sound reminiscent of “Rx Love,” between the key and Arsenic’s initial vocal delivery. The chorus is to the point, building up to a drop that gives way to a thumping kick and further earworm material. It is lively in the face of decay, pumping in the face of silence, and encapsulates Arsenic’s sense of survival in her darkest hour.
Arsenic’s M.O. is “harsh beats for dark times,” and considering her stint on Death’s doorstep, as well as the current state of affairs, we could use a little bit of darkness right about now. Even against the dark backdrops, her chorus-writing chops are top-notch, and her production top of the line. If you don’t have fifteen or so minutes to take in Deathless, make the time for it.
Deathless is now available for streaming and purchase via Bandcamp.