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Amenra / Ortega - People of North Netherlands were convinced by Belgium Sludge ritual
With their last album Mass V under the bucket Amenra is on a killing spree through the Benelux this year. Their rituals are brought to a new level and even more intense as before. On a foggy night your writer is crazy enough to take the trip from the South of the Netherlands to Groningen to take a visit to the legendary club Vera. The hometown support act Ortega just started when we arrived and got our first Grolsch beer.

Still cold from outside it’s hard to directly digest the Post-Metal sounds of Ortega. The Dutch answer towards Isis (rip) has a heavy sound, is carrying on through long tracks and keeps it interesting with massive breakdowns and occasionally screaming vocals. Highlight is the 18 minute epos ‘The Serpent Stirs’ with a never-ending groove that combines the best of Isis with Cult of Luna
In the break there is time for exploring the complete building. The basement stage of Vera is the oldest basement in the city; it’s not allowed to put posters on the walls. Upstairs there are a lot of posters with legendary bands who played the long running venue. They can add Amenra to that list, with a monumental riff and bleak visuals the Belgium band is sucking you into their wall of darkness. The maelstrom of never-ending riffs, pounding drums and painful screaming is only put to a standstill in the song ‘Nowena’ where the sound of clapping metal sticks is filling the void.
I have to admit the night never will be legendary however an Amenra ritual will never feel as daily routine. The band simple serves quality whether vocalist Colin can’t go to the maximum with his painful voice. It seems his vocals suffered from a cold or from the heavy tour schedule. After an hour the show is over with an abrupt end. Silence is waiting and no encore is will come. That’s the typical spirit of the Ra guys; there need to be something left for the next time. Also for the northern people from the Netherlands who were impressed by the band for the first time. Those who came from far just saw the soundtrack for the foggy night trip back home!