Amenra's first release for Relapse Records is at once a departure and a momentous act of deliverance. Stepping outside the run of albums titled Mass I-VI, De Doorn casts a 21-year journey from the heart of Belgium’s crusading hardcore scene to world-renowned, spiritually guided innovators in an enthralling new light. Ritual, remembrance and hard-won rebirth have always been at the heart of Amenra’s colossal, soul-purging approach.
Centered around frontman Colin H. Van Eeckhout, but marked out by a transcendent unity of purpose, their albums have acted as totemic, personal marker points, a means to process individual grief as a shared, cathartic experience. Their live shows are acts of incendiary, communal exorcism that reach a cusp of sublime, out-of-body experience. A closely knit collective, they transport you to a febrile state where confrontation of pain, transformation and true healing can occur. Amenra have always been profoundly bound to their hometowns around Flanders, the weight of that area’s war-torn history. The sacrifice and sense of a larger purpose that bridges the fragility of humanity and the pull of an immaculate ideal is carried as an ever-present resonance. No more is this apparent than in the spectacular, commemorative events the band have performed in recent years – to mark ending of the First World War; the band’s 20th anniversary; and the departure of long-time band member Levy Seynaeve.