After a career spanning nearly a decade, Belgium’s Amenra arrive at their fifth mass that establishes them among the brightest realities of European post-metal. The Flemish band, in deference to the artistic collective Church Of Ra of which it constitutes the musical arm, stages a four-part liturgy in which mystery, sorrow, anger, despair and poetry are admirably mixed seamlessly, for an end result that cannot fail to appeal irresistibly to those who adore these sounds. Harrowing screams alternating with whispers, funeral-like passages followed by ambient-sounding noises, overwhelmed in turn by rants of a purely hardcore character, persuasive and seemingly soothing melodies swept away by explosions of deaf violence, compressed and imprisoned in an opalescent envelope, constitute the alienating picture that will be the nourishment of those who will want to engage in listening to this introspective ritual. One cannot hide, moreover, how much the looming presence of Neurosis hovers over Mass V for a long series of reasons, starting from the compositional modus operandi, passing through the entry of ours into the Neurot roster, finally arriving at the presence of Scott Kelly himself as guest on vocals; it would be a mistake, however, to derubricate Amenra to the simple role of excellent epigones of the seminal band of the aforementioned Kelly and Steve Von Till: the five Flemish musicians provide an interpretation of the material that leaves no doubt about their musical integrity. Mass V gets under the skin in a slow but lethal manner, making its listening a terrifying, alienating and fulfilling experience at the same time; everyone will feel these sensations to varying degrees according to his or her sensibility and type of approach, but one can hardly remain indifferent. Mass is not over yet.
2012 – Neurot Recordings / Church of Ra
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