Few names invoke as much majesty in the world of melodic death metal than Swedish …
The November, Beligum’s mighty purveyors of immersive sonic darkness Amenra will level their extreme post-metal live experience upon Australian audiences for the first time.
Formed in Kortrijk, Belgium, in 1999, Amenra have become renowned for their all-encompassing, sensory overload approach to post-metal. Known also through their involvement in the Church of Ra creative collective initiative, Amenra’s sermonic deliverance of confrontingly dark sonic art has become encapsulated in their Mass album series, begun with Mass I in 2003, now at six volumes with Mass VI released in October 2017.
The whole sequence of Mass albums is deeply immersive, emotionally challenging, due perhaps to an unnerving combination of oppressive and enlightening responses they elicit in the listener. On how Amenra create this musical experience, vocalist Colin H Van Eekhout explains, “I think the aim is either to put everyone on their knees, or hit hard floor. They are both extremes. Either you are totally lost, or you are conquering the world. I think its all about telling our story, and the better you succeed in doing so, the more it enters someone’s being. We have grown accustomed to this world or atmosphere, the heaviness, the dark. We made it ours, so we are oblivious to the modus operandi.”
Throughout the years, we were able to try pretty much every possibility when it comes to live songs. Some just work better than others. You want the people to remember you. leave an everlasting impression.
[ Colin H Van Eekhout ]
The lastest Mass VI appears to take Amenra’s notorious semonic darkness to another level. Van Eekhout agrees. “The addition of Levy [Seynaeve, bassist] to the band,” he reflects, “definitely blew a new wind through our songwriting. His angle was fresh, new. He knew the band as a spectator, as the others had always been in the band. It was the first time around that we really allowed ourselves to think further than the ‘normal’ line up—two guitars one bass … we allowed ourselves to add whatever layer we heard in our heads. Took our guard down a bit, focussed on the outcome, instead of the process.”
As this will be Amenra’s first time in Australia, what can fans expect in your Australian tour setlist? Will Amenra perform songs from across the Mass albums? “Yes, that will be the goal,” Eekhout states, “A broad yet accurate representation of what we stand for.”
Amenra’s album tracklistings appear intricately connected across the duration of the respective album, but Eekhout foresees no complication in designing harrowing setlists for the Australian shows: “All songs come from the same place, so automatically, they fit together. They tell only one story, ours. Throughout the years, we were able to try pretty much every possibility when it comes to live songs. Some just work better than others. You want the people to remember you. leave an everlasting impression.”
Amenra are renowned for embracing visual art installations as part of the live set experience. Can Australian fans expect a visual aspect to the shows here? “It is an important part of the show, yes,” Eekhout confirms, “we want to be an attack on all senses. We want our audiences to have a choice, options. Whatever works best for them. look at the musicians, look at the visuals or close their eyes and look within themselves. Let’s hope it works, we’ll bring all our gear, if they let us in—and our gear actually arrives in time—then we’re all set. Its an important aspect, it helps you drown in the experience.”
AMENRA with special guests YVLA & LO! Australian Tour:
Thursday 15 November 2018 // Crowbar // Brisbane
Friday 16 November 2018 // The Factory Theater // Sydney
Saturday 17 November 2018 // Max Watts // Melbourne