Amenra-De Doorn album review. This album is exceptionally necessary and will stay with you for an eternity.


Amenra-De Doorn album review.

FFO: Soul destroying and emotive post-metal agony/glory that is original and frankly unparalleled in its intent. Captivating, gruelling, and nightmare-inducing soundscapes that continue to amaze the listener.

Hard listens are always the best, and Amenra consistently does this beautifully. Whilst this is the band's first release for Relapse Records, don't expect any dilution of the band's pleasantly grating overall sound. The addition of Oathbreaker's astonishing vocalist Caro (if you aren't familiar you need to listen to all of their wonderful releases) and some slightly atmospheric touches add greater depth and exquisitely complement the biting aggression. De Doorn is a dark and ritualistic cathartic musical document. These five well-constructed tracks serve as an exquisitely grim, haunting, and rewarding soundtrack to emotional unrest. This release serves as an audio bookend to a communal ritual performed in Ghent that symbolizes loss, healing, and perhaps a move from the darkness into a light of some sort. Kudos to the band for simply being there for the purpose of their own artistic aims-this is selfless, brutalist, passionate creations that are hard to swallow. De Doorn fits perfectly in their catalogue, there is not much stylistic change in comparison to their prior works, but seems more compact or concentrated in its forcefulness. Production is splendidly punchy, whilst allowing the minor bright tones to cut through with ease. Every Amenra release has been blessed with a crafted tightrope of harshness vs melody. This continues with the deranged dynamics of this release. But with some welcome edges of gripping ambience like in tracks like the brooding opener Ogentroost and the unstable gem that is Het Gloren. Both tracks sound like the fucking end of the world has arrived in the best way. But with catchy riffs and stunning rhythmic structures that floor you on the first listen, even if you are a seasoned listener of the band. I still get absolute chills thinking about how out of shape both tracks are. They are tangential, intelligent, and utterly memorable. Het Gloren in particular needs to be listened in complete focus on quality headphones or speakers to hear every fine moment and soundbite of this beast of a track. Not that there is anything here that is inferior and like classic albums, this release is best enjoyed by listening from start to end and uninterrupted. The vocals on all tracks are unique, grotesque, and shimmering all at the same time. Musicianship, pace, and structure are all of the highest quality and a monument to the sheer power of this band. Voor Immer closes the album with a tremendous landscape of semi-acoustic music and almost spoken vocal prowess. And as is the way of this band, it is drawing you toward some horror and you are well aware that you are deep in its gasp. Stop and think how often this occurs with most acts. That's right hardly ever and you know the ghastly gift is not too far away. This track delivers and ends with a gut punch that is harsh and almost celebratory. 

De Doorn is a purposeful piece of sorrow-filled art. Art that truly conveys deep-seated emotion that celebrates the connection between the band and the listener with each audio ritual. There are very few artists that can do this. But it feels like so much blood, sweat, and tears are part of Amenra's focus and vision with every release. Like classic literature, this has an astute tone that illustrates the harshness as much as the beauty of life experiences through a perfect medium. Every second is utilized and tells a story that the listener must unfold or reflect upon. Everything on this album works in unison and achieves brilliance through pain.  

This album is exceptionally necessary and will stay with you for an eternity.

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