Billed as a three way enterprise between Belgian post metal maestros Amenra, indie duo Madensuyu and artist/sculptor Berlinde de Bruyckere, this new picture disc is yet another string to the bow of Amenra, who have been especially prolific recently with a series of split releases, as well as wowing festival crowds with a series of intense live performances at Temples and Hevy Fest to name a few.
The Amenra offering is an acoustic version of fan favourite ‘Razoreater’ which originally appeared on their “Mass IIII” album back in 2008. Reduced to the bare bones of acoustic guitar, background bass and subtle percussion, the track takes on a hauntingly stark perspective, aided by vocalist Colin H. Van Eeckhout’s dreary yet melodic clean vocals. This approach demonstrates the power that has always been evident in Amenra’s music and proves that genuine emotion can be conveyed just as effectively when the musicians don’t have to rely on the crush of distortion.
Madensuyu are a more commercial proposition but their thoughtful indie musings are a good counter to the intensity of Amenra and there is more than a hint of Nick Cave in their humming rhythm and intriguing vocal histrionics.
Special mention must go to the artwork which is a fascinating display of what appears to be white branches entangled in pillowcases, but hints of red suggest that there may be limbs in there as well. Like all good art, more is revealed with each repeat viewing, with the same applying to both bands who participated in this split. For those who crave something with a bit more effort gone into its creation, this release is a worthy investment.