|Doom Metal, Hardcore, Sludge Metal
November 27th, 2012
Release length: 40:41
Obviously with the Doom Metal element, this recording is largely going to be heavy. The bass is pretty loud with a strong, deep tone that finds some cleaner and buzzing distortions at work on the guitars. The drums have a deep thud on the bass kicks, which sounds great given the louder crash of the cymbols, as well as the snap of the snares that sometimes seems to be drowned out in some parts. The vocals are as crisp as the rest of the audio, often jumping between a clean singing in some of the slower parts, and a shouting approach during the heavier ones, again finding itself pushed back in the mix like the snares can be.
Mass V is broken down into four songs, all pushing past the nine minute mark. “Boden” starts off with a slower, emptier introduction that takes a good while to build before the aggressive Doom and Hardcore material comes through. This is an obvious staple for the group. The screaming in the background is a little hard to understand due to the volume, but the trudging pace and atmosphere is captured well, especially in the breakdown that erupts about four minutes in. After it, that slower introduction kicks back in, incorporating some spoken word sections that are meerly a whisper against some chords that sound more like a Middle Eastern approach before slamming back into the heavier music once more. “Deadborn and Buried” starts off in a similar, slower manner, using the boom of some deeper snares that got lost in the richer music to set up a dismal tone, eventually picking up some shouting vocals are repeating guitar chords. The music itself is surprisingly relaxing, especially when the leads go from shouting to altered moaning against the droning chords and drum beat. The breakdown does shift things for a while, revoking that previous atmosphere for a more hostile one at a mid-tempo that gradually slows down in pace for the last few minutes.
“A Mon Ame” is the longest track of them all, clocking in at thirteen minutes in length. The first six minutes is a slow build once more, largely quiet then having some dismal guitars and cymbal crashes accompanying it. There are more changes, like chanting from left to right speaker,
and the addition of snares and another layered guitar. When it stops, the listener finds music confused as to whether it should be a mid-tempo, or slower pace, sometimes finding the latter with simple, soft guitar and bass lines with whispered lyrics. The closing, however, is worth the extended periods of droning material, crashing with some extra energy and life that will wake you up and have you banging your head along to it. Finally, the release ends with “Nowena (I 9.10,” which features acoustic guitars and clean singing for the first roughly two minutes before slamming into soul crushing material and louder, energetic shouting. This one stands out the most, largely for the energy incorporated in the clean singing passages, again finding a dismal, depressing atmosphere that lasts up until the very end.
Mass V isn’t really the most engaging of albums for this style of music, but it’s still pretty enjoyable. Between some of the soothing and relaxing tracks or segments of the aggressive, energetic outbursts, Amenra definitely brings an experience that is well worth going through for fans of the style. Unfortunately, there’s only one song that truly ends up sticking out, which is “Nowena I 9.10,” though that’s not to say the other three are a waste of time or space. But, in the end, it’s clear Amenra try to put their best foot forward here, and in many ways it shows, making Mass V an album still worth checking out, especially if you’ve never heard them before.
01. Boden – 9:07
02. Dearborn and Buried – 9:14
03. A Mon Ame – 13:00
04. Nowena I 9.10 – 9:20
|Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10