Sound — 8
Amenra are a metal band who first emerged out of the dark shadows of Belgium back in 1999. They're world renowned for their unique style of music that combines raging, distortion-filled guitar riffs, a dynamic lead vocalist, and some twisted Pink Floyd-esque influences. And now, Amenra have screamed their way back into 2012 with their first album in 4 years, "Mass V". As soon as I pushed play on the new disc, I could instantly tell who I was listening to. The album is kicked off with "Dearborn And Buried", which starts off with a few ringing guitar chords, and is soon backed by thunderous drum kicks and high pitched screaming vocals. Musically, this band is back to what they do best: full fledged heavy metal. Amenra as a band sound tighter than ever, with engaging riffage and primal screams generously scattered throughout the entire new record. Their progressive influences are still evident on the new disc, especially on such songs as "A Mon Ame", which features echoing synthesizers and chanting group harmonies that slowly builds your anticipation just before it kicks back into screaming heavy metal mode. For the most part it's a very solid effort from Amenra, and bears so few flaws that there isn't really much for me to complain about.
Lyrics — 7
Lead vocalist Colin H Van Eeckhout proves to be a very dynamic vocalist throughout this new record. He can begin a song at his normal register, and then right on que transition into heavy metal screamo-style singing. About the only problem I have with his singing style is that it can be very difficult at times to really understand exactly what Colin is talking about during some songs. It's almost like he's more focused on just screaming than singing, which at times helps make the song while he's backed by galloping riffs, but when he's backed by quiet guitar chords it's almost like nails on a chalkboard. Although when written his lyrics might not make much sense, but when they're being screamed at you at full blast they're right in line with something you'd expect from a metal group: "Bereaved/ This is our soil/ Remember it and it will remain/ Dearborn/ When ashes reign/ Remember us/ We were the flame/ Now when will I be wounded enough?"
Overall Impression — 8
Although the singing can be hard to decipher at times, what it lacks in comprehension is made up for in top notch style and lyrical execution. The masterful combination of heavy distortion and progressive influences makes "Mass V" a dynamically powerful return-to-form for Amerna. Any metalhead should be able to passionately enjoy this new release cranked up at full volume, and any current fan of Amenra should be more than pleased with this latest installment.