July 7, 2017


Photo Credit: Stephan Vanfleteran

Contrasts have always been deep, and at the very heart of AMENRA's music, ever since they started uttering their Prayers and holding their Masses, almost 18 years ago. Tormented darkness has always coexisted alongside luminous beauty, thunderous impacts instantly followed by frail, delicate subtleties. Songs that seem to engulf everyone in the world at once suddenly feel like they are being whispered to you inside the isolation of your solitary womb. The time that we have waited for a new Mass, this Mass VI that is now finally materialized and ready to consume and be consumed, seems itself to also be a double-edged sword – on one hand, and although Nowena | 9.10,Mass V's closer, seems as final as anything we've ever heard, like something that should be playing when the world itself comes to an end, we are parched all the same for new AMENRA songs to enter our life and remain there as the others from the past have done, and continue to do during the band's impassioned live performances. 

Watch the AMENRA: MASS VI album trailer RIGHT HERE

On the other hand, the wounds inflicted by Mass V still have not turned to scars, they still itch and they have been made wider by the ways the band has found to interpret their material in different ways in the last few years, from acoustic performances and recordings to several collaborations with like-minded artists, there hasn't been any kind of absence or withdrawal. 

In any case, ready or not, Mass VI is here, and more than any other album in AMENRA's past, it highlights those contrasts in a deeply affecting way. Mass VI shall arrive on 20th October through Neurot Recordings, read on for further details...

Watch AMENRA's live performance from GRASPOP 2017 RIGHT HERE

As always with AMENRA, this art has come directly from the souls of the musicians involved, they are capable of establishing connections with their listeners more profound than almost any other band because they are direct heart to heart connections. Thus, this pain, this sorrow, and also these fleeting moments of joy, they come from those hearts. They are all too real.

"It took us a couple of years as always to find the right mindset to write an new album. Works of music whose creation was fuelled by pure necessity," Colin van Eeckhout explains. "We needed to write, at this point. Finding inspiration in depression, sorrow and despair. Levy found himself in a dark place for some time, where he shut himself off from everyone to write new music. It was the first Mass album he helped writing, and his being is felt throughout the entire album. Lebon, our drummer, celebrated the birth of his newborn son. We were all saddened by Mathieu's father's cancer and are mourning the loss of Lebon's beloved mother. And for me, personally, my firstborn son had a tumor removed from inside his head. It seriously shook my ground. Fate strikes and strokes. Where there is Love there is Pain." 

No love without pain. No life without death. No light without darkness. That is the conflict at the heart of Mass VI, at the heart of each and every one of us, at the heart of what it means to be human, to live and to love and to lose, and few other pieces of music will wrench that ambivalence out of us and present it in such an acutely overwhelming fashion.

It's hard to think of a better person to capture this sonic enormity than Billy Anderson. The legendary American producer was already the chosen one for Mass V, and between Neurosis' Through Silver In Blood, Sleep's Dopesmoker, Eyehategod's Dopesick, Cathedral's Endtyme or Brutal Truth's Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom, among many, many others, he's been a decisive element in the building of many a true classic. Mass VI was recorded in the Belgian Ardennes, a region of thick forests in the south-east of the country, where the band was snowed in for a week. 

Below you'll find some imagery of the inner artwork of the record created by the wonderful Stephan Vanfleteren (who also took the band photos) we'll be sharing the official cover art along with further album details and pre-orders soon.

Artwork excerpt, images by Stephan Vanfleteran

Children of the Eye
Plus près de toi (Closer to you)
A solitary reign

AMENRA are proud to announce a release show on 31st of october in Ancienne Belgique Brussels. They shall outshine themselves with their visual aesthetics and all other aspects of the live performance. Their friends in All Shadows And Deliverance will be opening, as well as Monnik and there will be an exhibition of photographs by Maarten Kinet (bass AMENRA afterlife), and displays of other AMENRA related artwork. AMENRA will be selling an exclusive EU version of the record at their release show. Tickets for the show are now available at this link Check out the trailer below...

Watch the trailer for AMENRA's record release show RIGHT HERE

AMENRA will make their North American return this month, as they join Converge and labelmates Neurosis, the tour running from July 27th through August 7th.

AMENRA Tour Dates:

7/27/2017 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL w/ Neurosis [SOLD OUT]

7/28/2017 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

7/29/2017 St Andrews – Detroit, MI w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

7/30/2017 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/01/2017 Metropolis – Montreal, QC w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/02/2017 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/03/2017 College St. Music Hall – New Haven, CT w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/04/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Neurosis, Converge [SOLD OUT]

8/05/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/06/2017 Royale – Boston, MA w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

8/07/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Neurosis, Converge [tickets]

10/31/2017 Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, BE * release show w/ All Shadows And Deliverance, Monnik

(words by José Carlos Santos)

July 5, 2017

NEUROSIS To Reissue Out-Of-Print Second Album The Word As Law In August

NEUROSIS will reissue the band’s second LP, The Word As Law, in August, the album having remained out-of-print since the 1990s.

While listening to NEUROSIS’ discography in chronological order, their sound gradually shifts in a very steady and somewhat seamless progression with each record, though their first few albums are undoubtedly cut from their 80s punk influences and surroundings. The Word As Law was initially released on vinyl only in 1990 through Lookout! Records, alongside the likes of Operation Ivy, Green Day, Screeching Weasel and other Bay Area punk acts of the time. Upbeat rhythms and enraged vocals fuel The Word As Law, the record picking up where their Pain Of Mind debut’s ripping punk sound left off, while the band simultaneously began experimenting with more dissonant, melancholic, and demoralizing tones that would carve the foundation for their next few albums and their signature sound.

NEUROSIS had yet to infuse keyboards or synthesizers into the mix when The Word As Law was recorded by Mark Lemaire at Sound & Vision in San Francisco of December 1989. The blend of vocals delivered by guitarist Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, and new inductee on this album, guitarist Steve Von Till, driven by the powerful rhythms of drummer Jason Roeder, coalesce to formulate an eerie and original sound on The Word As Law, which results in the album’s cult status as an incredibly groundbreaking album for countless crust punk, hardcore, and experimental metal artists worldwide.

While prior reissues of the album featured several re-recorded bonus tracks from the band’s prior singles and releases, the 2017 Neurot reissue of The Word As Law will bear the album’s initial eight tracks, all completely remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering. Additionally, the album’s cover artwork has been reworked and modernized by NEUROSIS’ former live visual architect Josh Graham to match the label’s previously-reissued Souls At Zero, Enemy Of The Sun, and other titles.

NEUROSIS’ own Neurot Recordings will reissue The Word As Law on CD, LP, and digital formats on August 25th, directly following their US tour with Converge and Amenra and their performance at Psycho Las Vegas. 

See all confirmed tour dates below and find preorder links for The Word As Law at THIS LOCATION.

The Word As Law Track Listing:

1. Double Edged Sword

2. The Choice

3. Obsequious Obsolescence

4. To What End?

5. Tomorrow's Reality

6. Common Inconsistencies

7. Insensitivity

8. Blisters

I still remember the first time I heard The Word As Law, shortly after it was released in 1990. From the first chords of “Double-Edged Sword” I was hooked – the sounds seemed to send some sort of powerful electrical current coursing through my body – and by the time the feedback faded out at the end of “Blisters” I was emotionally spent. I had never heard anything like it: The Word As Law completely changed my understanding of three different musical genres – punk, hardcore, and metal. 

The record blends elements of all three. There is the raw moodiness of punk. The ferocity and anger of hardcore. The musicianship and dynamics of metal. But The Word As Law transcends all those labels, in the process creating something utterly unique. 

It hit me on so many levels. It spoke to the anger I had as a young punk, my sense that I was trapped in a dog-eat-dog world of relentless capitalist competition, my alienation from the broader society. But it also resonated on a deeper level. My father killed himself when I was a teenager, leaving me mourning, feeling as if I were surrounded by a thick fog of despair. The Word As Law is not a happy collection of songs, but it played this incredibly positive and cathartic role in my life. Listening to it over and over, gave me an odd sense of comfort. I realized that I wasn’t the only person struggling with deep emotional turmoil and found myself slowly working through the anger and grief that had enveloped me.

More than twenty-five years later they are still my favorite band. And I still try to attend every NEUROSIS show I can.

The Word As Law was a massive influence on an entire generation of bands including my own, Econochrist. It’s the bridge to what NEUROSIS would become in later years. So, put it back on your turntable. Step to the front the falling is today. -- Ben Sizemore/Econochrist

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:

7/01/2017 Roskilde Festival – Roskilde, DK

7/02/2017 Kraken – Stockholm, SE w/ Wolfbrigade & Author & Punisher

7/03/2017 Pustervik – Gothenburg, SE w/ Author & Punisher

7/04/2017 Tavastia – Helsinki, FI w/ Dark Buddha Rising

7/05/2017 Eistnaflug – Neskaupstadur, IS

7/27/2017 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL w/ Amenra [tickets]

7/28/2017 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

7/29/2017 St Andrews – Detroit, MI w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

7/30/2017 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/01/2017 Metropolis – Montreal, QC w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/02/2017 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/03/2017 College St. Music Hall – New Haven, CT w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/04/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra [SOLD OUT]

8/05/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/06/2017 Royale – Boston, MA w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/07/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Converge, Amenra [tickets]

8/18-20/2017 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas [tickets]

10/28-29/2017 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore Maryland @ Days Of Darkness [tickets]

12/08/2017 Clash Club – São Paulo, BR

12/09/2017 Teatro Vorterix – Buenos Aires, AR

12/10/2017 Club Blondie – Santiago, CL

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