Worshipping the riff is a chief component of more ceremonially inclined metal bands. Over the course of five full-lengths, Belgian quintet Amenra has crafted ritualized drones dripping in sludgy doom — gathering the faithful to its aptly titled Church of Ra. Heaving, dynamic lurches, and the promise of shadowy enlightenment spill over on the band’s latest album, V. With four lengthy songs replete with sacramental subtleties, V pivots between cyclical, ascendant churns and frosty, contemplative pauses. Minimalist passages mix with gut-punch walls of noise, and baleful vocals (see the howling “Dearborn and Buried”) call down portentous judgment. Released on Neurot Recordings, V shares a similar post- and experimental-metal methodology befitting the label’s aesthetic, and like many of Neurot’s other releases, the album contains abundant strength and sway.
There’s no doubt that V has been shaped as a profound rite, containing a liturgy of transcendental energies evoking shady shamanistic vibrations. All up, it’s a sublime observance, with tracks like the powerfully entrancing “A Mon Ame” and “Nowena I 9.10” set to lure even more parishioners into the fold.