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Amplexus 

Deus Ex Machina (MySpace.com/AmplexusRock)

Amplexus' blast of larynx-shredding screamo isn't very original, but it's often nearly as good as any of the bands it borrows from. The Kent sextet separates from the pack with a double dose of talent and consistent professionalism — there's not a sloppy moment on Machina. With schizophrenic switches from melodic singing to cookie-monster growling, songs like "Come On In" will please Underoath fans, while "Sunset on Neptune" hints that Amplexus has potential to expand its musical palette. Machina may be the sound of a promising band skillfully emulating its influences. But it's also a glimpse at a group with a potentially bright future.

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