Sunday, September 17, 2017
Amenra : " Mass VI"
This band from Belgium is back with another piece of despair. With members of Oathbreaker in the fold they deliver a lush take on metal. The atmosphere might be even thicker on this album than it was on the previous releases. I am not hearing this as just a sludge band as the Neurosis worship has been washed away in favor of a sound that has more emotional depth. The anguish howls of the vocals and their accompanying guitar parts really pack the heart punch here.It starts off with the kind of aggressive sludge you expected from them though the anger almost borders on hardcore. Then they begin to float out into something else six minutes and tinder sung vocals with a Sigur Rio like feel to them whisper into the waves . The guitar sound on this album is pretty awe inspiring and massive.
The guitar has more of a tremolo feel to it that blackens things slightly. The vocals grow more tormented in their conveyance of emotion. The bass and drums keeps things at a more sludge like pace. The over all sound s huge and the depth of the shadows painting it feels darker yet more clear in the way the mix lends space to every instrument. Lightly sung almost whispered vocals lead into "A Solitary Reign" . There is a call and response with the screamed vocal echoing the lighter vocals until it crescendos midway into the song and the screaming takes over . In the song's 3rd act the vocals float over the sonic storm not unlike older Alcest. The album ends with the 11 minute "Daiken". There is a brooding drone for the first two and a half minutes before they thunder down on you. While this sounds great they are playing it closer to more familiar territory here. The more subdued vocals do return and trade off with the more vicious screaming in the songs final moments.
I'll round this up to a 9.5, while these guys got my attention again I suppose time will tell how much rotation this gets from me. The only thing going against it in the iPod is the length of some of the songs it's more of an album to let play when I am sitting in front of my computer. It is superbly crafted and finds these guys hitting their stride.