Band: AMENRAGenres: Punk / Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metalcore / Doom / Sludge / Thrash / Stoner Metal
Related artists: Spineless, Kingdom, Blind To Faith, Janez Detd, Liar, Oathbreaker, Black Haven, Hessian, Sembler Deah and Syndrome.
Country: Western Flanders, BELGIUM
Years Active: 1999-present
Song: "Die Strafe. Am Kreuz. Ich Schreibe Eine Bibel In Blut."
Album: "Mass III"
Label(s): Anvil Of Fury / Impure Musik / Heart On Fire Records / Recap Records / Grave Escape Records / Five Star Recordings / Sound Devastation Records / Music Fear Satan / Witches On Fire / Church Of Ra / Consouling Sounds / Vlas Vegas Records / Anchors Aweigh Records / Smoke And Dust Records / Init Records / Neurot Recordings / Self Released
This post's artist is from the May 2014 Mix. This is track #14.
You can download the May 2014 Mix#6 right here or get the new July Mix#7 here.
For fans of: Cult Of Luna, Neurosis, Rosetta, Buried Inside, Isis, Tephra, Monuments Collapse, Pelican, Finger Of God, Omega Massif, Examination Of The..., Old Man Gloom, Zozobra, Cave In, The Fall Of Efrafa, Tool, (old) Hopesfall and Amber.
Perhaps I should be upfront - I heard AMENRA for the first time less than 6 months ago. I had seen the name related to many bands that I thoroughly enjoy, so after much procrastination I grabbed their discography. Good call, Aguado. Although I must admit, I'm kicking myself for sleeping on these guys for so long.
AMENRA play epic, crusty, black-metal with doom and post-hardcore influences. They have steadily grown as a massive musical entity from Belgium in 1999 and over the course of more than a decade honed their sound and can be likened to all of the bands listed above in the 'for fans of' section. Occasionally the band opts for some clean singing, and in the early days this ended with disastrous results. Songs like "Dance of the Dead" and "Silent Pause" are diminished as decent songs because I want to bash my ears in when the singing starts. Over time the band learned to harness their strengths, and used clean singing sparingly and at junctures where it meshed with well-thought out melodies (albeit simple and kinda monotonous). There are also some parts sung by a female vocalist whose voice accents the music beautifully. Tracks like "Aorte Nous Sommes Du Meme Sang" and "Die Strafe. Am Kreuz. Ich Schreibe Eine Bibel In Blut" are ridiculous, and work the massive builds of Omega Massif in with the brooding nature of Isis and the ominous and oppressing sounds of Neurosis. Listening to this might increase your "evil" level, though - so watch out.
The strongest track from the band's early days would have to be "Hibernate" from 'Mass I'. This song encapsulates most things the band ends up achieving over the next decade, and was like a rough sketch that actually works better than most songs AMENRA has written.
"Shapeless Pain I" is a decent track that lends itself more to being a faster, screamier song that doesn't let up, let alone insert slow passages. This is a straight up banger and one of the band's shorter ventures.
I don't think it's possible to be more eerie than the swirling instrumental break in "Die Strafe. Am Kreuz. Ich Schreibe Eine Bibel In Blut" a little before the 50% mark, which then leads to a female vocalist trading back and forth with Colin over guitars that remind me a lot of Rosetta.
I find myself crooning the intro of "Ritual" every time I hear the damn thing. "Needle and thread..." is a line I've repeated a few hundred times, at least. This serene intro is broken down and then reassembled as a sweet breakdown/buildup from 4 minutes onward, culminating at the 6-minute mark.
"Razoreater" is another epic song that I find reminiscent of "Die Strafe..." and "Ritual" as it moves like a wave, building on itself before it crashes and the entire process starts over. The conclusion of this song is probably the band's crowning achievement in the "epic" category. Good god.
"Aorte Nous Sommes Du Meme Sang" is my favourite track. It begins sounding nearly akin to Pelican before those haunting Jesu-esque vocals step in to keep the ball rolling. This continues unabated for a good 4 and a half minutes before they unleash the beast, which then runs amok for the remaining 4 and a half minutes.
The last half of "Boden" from the band's newest LP is another absolutely crushing 10-minute track. The third song "A Mon Ame" has blatant Egyptian worship but overall I'd have to say that 'Mass IIII' is my personal favourite.
AMENRA has been releasing a second flurry of splits as of late, with 3 EPs this year alone. None of which I've heard.
So yeah, check these guys out. They're really good but let's not kid ourselves, AMENRA definitely recycle a similar formula. They just do it so damn well.
2003 - Mass I cd/12"EP
2004 - 4-Way split (w/Gantz, Gameness and Vuur) cdLP
2004 - Prayers 09+10 12"EP
2004 - Vuur split 7"EP
2005 - Mass II cd/12"EP
2005 - Mass III cd/cassette/12"/2x12"/dvd/LP
2007 - Hitch split 7"
2008 - Mass IIII cd/cassette/2x12"LP
2009 - Afterlife cd/10"EP
2011 - Brethren Bound By Blood 1/3 (Black Heart Rebellion split) 12"EP
2011 - Brethren Bound By Blood 2/3 (Hive Destruction split) 10"EP
2011 - Brethren Bound By Blood 3/3 (Oathbreaker split) 7"EP
2012 - Mass V cd/cassette/12"LP
2012 - Live cdLP
2012 - Brethren Bound By Blood 4/3 (Hussein split) 7"EP
2014 - The Abyss Stares Back Vol. 1 (VVovnds split) 12"LP
2014 - Eleanora split 10"EP
2014 - Treha Sektori split 10"EP
(2008) AMENRA - "Aorte Nous Sommes Du Meme Sang" (from 'Mass IV')
(2003) AMENRA - "Hibernate" (from 'Mass I')
(2005) AMENRA - "Ritual" (from 'Mass III')
(2011) AMENRA - "Shapeless Pain I" (from 'Oathbreaker' split)
(2012) AMENRA - "Boden" (from 'Mass V')
AMENRA mp3 downloads / additional links