That’s one word to sum up the sound of Belgian post-metal kingpins AMENRA. Their emotional destruction drips with agony and suffering. The music contains a pain that drives its way into your synapses like a corkscrew. Overlaid by imagery of barren, frost-bitten landscapes, this is certainly no party – but it’s very cathartic.
All of AMENRA’s albums come with the prefix Mass (in 2017, they released their seventh), and the band has started a collective called Church of Ra, which includes like-minded Belgian bands Oathbreaker and The Black Heart Rebellion.
Caro Tanghe fra aforementioned Oathbreaker features on AMENRA’s 2021 album De Doorn (translated to ’the thorn’), the first album to break away from the Mass series. It’s also the first release on the esteemed Relapse metal label.
The songs were initially composed for two live events titled “Fire Ritual”, which saw the band performing the songs around wooden structures set on fire. The ritual was meant to rid its attendees of all their inner evils and the things weighing them down for good.
AMENRA has toured with the likes of Neurosis and Converge. They are also signed to the former’s label, Neurot Recordings.
Their live performances have become particularly entrancing communions, with stunning visuals, uncompromising sonic power and a visceral, enigmatic turn from front man Colin H. van Eeckhout who captivates his audience whilst predominantly playing to the back of the stage. The rest of the band stare out into the abyss.
If you are up for a powerful meeting of art, noise and pain that is highly redemptive, you should not miss out on AMENRA.