Posts Tagged ‘Neurot Recordings’

Neurot Recordings – 20th October 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Mass VI may have six tracks listed, but effectively, it only has four full movements, with a brace of brief interludes breaking up the blasting, blistering intensity. And what intensity. Five years on from Mass V and Amenra have not softened their sound one iota.

The ten-minute ‘Children of the Eye’ makes for a slow-building opener: there’s a full minute of silence before a quiet, gentle intro of chiming guitars rips into a screaming vortex of noise that channels a spiral straight into the depths of a world far below the earth. The delicate, reflective mid-section offers much-needed reprieve, albeit temporarily, before the deluge of guitars bring a return to the tempestuous anguish. No doubt, the Neurosis comparisons stand as obvious, and it’s not hard to make the connection as to why Amenra have made their way to the Neurot label. But the howling, barking vocal derangement is altogether more frenzied and tortured to the point that borders on the inhuman. It’s the sound of a voice detached from the world and detached from hope, desperately screaming into a sonic vortex which swirls as an emblem for the pain that is existence.

‘Plus Pres de Troi’ brings a heavy, dolorous trudge and a sinewy, organic guitar sound. The thick guitars grate in an epic Sunn O))) -like drone. Gradually unfurling, transitioning between the aural equivalent of delicate fronds to boughs torn asunder by hurricane-force blasts.

It’s on ‘A Solitary Reign’ that Amenra really show both their depth and range. Epic doesn’t come close: yes, it’s post-rock, post-metal, and it’s raging, brutal shoegaze with an emotional dimension that’s deeply affecting in the way that only music can be. There are no words to fully articulate such resonance and the levels sound and voice can reach into the soul and affect the mind. As a reviewer, there’s a real sense of impotence when faced with something like this. It’s so much easier to write either objectively or to dissect technical issues, or to otherwise slate in the most violent terms possible something that’s inherently shit or lacking in whatever, way. But how does one articulate music that turns the innards to liquid and melts the brain? What do you say about something that leaves you feeling numb, incapable of movement, and utterly overawed? When the last thing you want to do is analyse, and instead sit back and let the experience touch every corner of your innermost being, how do you reconcile the role of fan and critic? You give yourself over to the music of course, and accept that this is bigger than you.

Mass VI is bigger than your small world, your little life. Mass VI reaches deep into the heart of the human condition through the medium of sound. The fact that the lyrics are impenetrable and inaudible for the most part only heightens the experience: it’s the language of sound which conveys so much and means everything.

The eleven-minute closer, ‘Diaken’, combines all of the elements of drone / doom / post-metal / post rock in a thunderous and sprawling behemoth of a sonic journey to create something that’s both cerebral and physical: the crushing riffs played on obliterative guitars contrast with the delicate, detailed breaks to breathtaking effect.

Despite its duration, Mass VI feels remarkably concise, largely on account of just how focused it is. There’s no waste, no packing, no flab: everything about the album is centred around distilling every sound into creating optimum power, and the result is stunning.

AAA

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End Of Mirrors is the forthcoming full length from Oakland-based dark punk conjurors Alaric. Set for global release on May 6th on CD, vinyl, and digitally via Neurot Recordings, and on cassette via Sentient Ruin Laboratories.  The record, captured and mixed by Skot Brown at Kempton House Studios, provides an emotional and deeply physical journey through inky, blackened sonic murk, devoid of all hope. Oppressive, gloomy, and epically grandiose, each of the seven psalms comprising End Of Mirrors is at once beautiful and unsettling, and as a precursor to its release, you can now hear the track ‘Mirrors’ here:

This week will see the release of One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, the fittingly-titled, collaborative debut between apocalyptic doom duo, The Body, and grindcore/harsh noise sculptors, Full of Hell. Set for release on March 25th via Neurot Recordings, the offering came together during last year’s massive North American trek which united both bands. Amidst the chaos of tour life, the two groups found time to record together at Machines With Magnets in Providence, Rhode Island. The session eventually culminated into the harrowing sounds found on One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, which is ultimately an audio reflection of their surroundings and their inability to cope therein.

As a precursor to its release, they’ve unleashed the video accompaniment to second movement, “Fleshworks.” It’s suitably challenging, and you can watch it here: