2. De Dood In Bloei
3. De Evenmens
4. Het Gloren
5. Voor Immer
Written for the purpose of that rite, De Doorn (...The Thorn) occupies a place between AMENRAs recorded and live work, less a testimony to the bands individual bereavements, more an invitation for others to come forward, and to pass through darkness into light. Where the Mass albums have taken the form of solitary struggles whose fearless honesty has aligned itself to the most intrinsically human of chords, the Lire la suite [...] dynamics of De Doorn are as stricken by destiny as ever, but sonically looser. Guided to a lesser extent by the bands characteristically immense, behind-the-beat traction, its more lush, immersive, steeped in sonorous, cathedral-echo ambiences amplified to the point of static-infected instability and carrying passages of deeply intimate spoken-word that feel like being drawn in to the most hallowed of confidences. Its themes of dialogue and the passing of knowledge are echoed in the combined vocals of Colin and Oathbreakers Caro Tanghe. Her spectral presence on the opening Ogentroost acts as both counterpoint and complement to Colins stricken howl as the song cycles between enervation and helplessly compelled momentum. Their whispered devotions in the following, vast, hallowed atmospheres of De Dood In Bloei leave you feeling as though youre bearing witness to the most private of conversations.
The first AMENRA album to be sung entirely in Flemish, De Doorn imparts a universal power by digging deep into local customs. Not just allowing for a greater range of expression through the intimacy, allowances and layers of meaning granted by your native tongue, it takes inspiration from Flemish forms such as Kleinkunst, a folk-based musical wave driven by storytelling, and the passing of wisdom through generations. Yet as with every AMENRA release, De Doorn is an act of observance that recognises the path travelled by fully experiencing the moment, as a rite of consummation, reckoning and deliverance. That state of transition is exemplified in the closing Vor Immer, a hushed, plaintively wracked coda that bursts into newborn, world-in-your eyes transfiguration where sheer, sense flooding experience becomes a blazing threshold where rupture and rapture become one.
The thorn is the most potent of symbols - in religious terms, a reclamation and an agony as a mark of transformation. Its the nagging reminder of vulnerability and its the violent protector, without which beauty cannot thrive. For the cover of De Doorn, its been cast in bronze - a thing of value and a memorial, each band member given their own piece to symbolise their own pain and their belonging to the greater whole. In bronze, it is both nature and something else - a mark of singularity and a portal to a continuity that we all share. As AMENRA have acknowledged once more, its one that hears our call, even when we feel we are at our most alone.