Mass V review by Amenra

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  • Released: Nov 26, 2012
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (10 votes)
Amenra: Mass V

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.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice to see UG reviewing an album like this. Tried this and it was not for me though.
    Raven, I commend you. It is very very rare to see people speak of music they don't like in such a respectful and tolerant way. You'd think it wouldn't be all too hard, but alas, quite a few people tend to act like the user above you.
    Nice and post metally, can't really hear the vocals in the mix very well, but the atmosphere is palpable, and those videos are good.
    I've noticed that Amenra's vocals are always a bit low in the mix as well but I believe it's an artistic choice they've made. If you listened to their other music it's usually this way so it has kind of become a part of their signature at this point.
    I like the vox actually. Kinda almost like black metal like Shining or something, but less raspy. Good if you like sludge.
    wonderful that this was reviewed and that the community has a chance to listen to them, even if most of the users won't understand this type of music.
    I didn't realize they were putting out anything new. I'm happy to hear this though. Probably getting this.
    This album is on my "to buy" list of the year, I read Sputnikmusic's review earlier today and it got me hooked on this album.
    I like this, it's not my normal listen, but I certainly enjoy it. I also like the vocals the way they have them, it's different.
    perfect thing to listen to if you want to depress yourself in order to get rid of hate and sadness. awesome stuff. reminds me of celtic frost, in the best way possible.
    Never heard of them before, but the music is actually pretty solid. Not big on the vocals, but maybe they'll grow on me.
    Never been a fan of metal where you cant understand 1 word the singer says ever. Drowned out aswell. The music itself is ok I guess. Not a fan. Nice review though. (btw in most harder metal it is hard to hear what the singer is saying at times but this takes it to a whole nother level lol)
    you should take a listen to defeated sanity or visceral disgorge if you think this was incomprehensible
    awful. long, drawn out and boring! singer sucks too
    So, didn't like it because you didn't understand it. Words like "long, drawn out" don't lead me to believe you gave it a serious listen.
    i listened till i couldn't listen anymore,,,at least 3 mins of my life that i'll never get back
    additionally, it sounds like, whomever mixed this, had earplugs in at the time