Amenra - Mass VI (Neurot Recordings) 2017
Amenra’s Masses have always leaned more towards the apocalyptic side of the spectrum, not entirely pitch-black but definitely dimly-lit, yet their sixth installment glows with the light of rebirth. Part of this comes down to Colin H. van Eeckhout, whose screams haven’t gotten any less scathing, but whose softer moments display a tenderness that is matched by the exquisite control of momentum and tempo they exhibit on the likes of “Plus Pres de Toi”, sliding so easily between fury and solemnity. Elsewhere, “A Solitary Reign” pairs intricate melodies and sparse bass work in a way that will leave Tool fans wondering what they’ve been missing out on for the past decade, and the ascendant rage of “Diaken” may see it come to be one of Amenra’s signature works.
Though their influences may shine through a little stronger than on previous works, this is a sublime album from a band in command of their sound, continuing to strive, refine and perfect.