Decaying cathedrals. The march at twilight towards a sure death. Infested soil. Millions of decrepit bones in an eternal sleep. Surrounded by shrapnel, rusty bullets and locust. Cries still echo in the barren fields, remaining unheard by today’s deaf society. It’s on this soil that the first big war came to an end, it’s from this soil that a band arose that embraces this past, this pain, this blasphemy.
Formed in these forsaken fields of West-Flanders, AMENRA has been conjuring unholy sermons since 1999. Spreading their vision of a world that’s out of touch with its past, present and future, they take their adepts through ungodly rituals into a world of unseen mystique. Their postmodern vision of music, existing of droning, repetitive chords alternated by gut wrenching hauls will make an experienced listener renounce his definition of music, perhaps even his whole belief system.
In their mere 3 years of existence, AMENRA already have a backcatalog that most bands won’t assemble in a lifetime. However, none of these well-received outings did them justice, being unable to fully capture the hypnotizing energy of their live performances. For Mass III they turned this around. Produced by their own guitar wizard The Dice (RISE & FALL, THE SETUP) and mixed by Zlaya Hadzic (SONIC YOUTH, MOTORPSYCHO) and mastered in the infamous Electric City studio in Belgium, the spirit and intensity has finally been laid down the way it’s meant to be. Fans and critics know that their enchanting concerts are the only true way of experiencing this five piece, not in the least because of their unique choice of locations, like old churches, grave hills, lingerie shows or dark forests. They’ve proven their skills extensively, for instance on tour with label mates STARKWEATHER, as well on numerous shows with bands like RED SPAROWES, THE LOCUST, PELICAN, KNUT, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, CURSED, SWITCHBLADE, ANODYNE, etc. Producing huge walls of sound, AMENRA have often been compared to metal stalwarts like NEUROSIS, ISIS and PELICAN, but their confounding and compelling sound that mixes surrealist melody and warped subtleties with churning rhythms, pummeling riffs and crushing dynamics stands on it’s own.
Mass III will infest your mind like a lingering cancer, bound to spit out your soul like a shriveled, yellowed husk, leaving you on a morphine drip in a side ward of the local psychiatric hospital. And that’s just the beginning.
Colin Van Eeckhout
Official site: www.ritualofra.com