While the warmer weather is slowly closing in, there definitely have been some rather cold November days here in Oz, thus far. With us being in the southern half of the hemisphere, one of Europe’s finest post metal groups known as Amenra have brought not only the atmospheric aura, but an East Coast tour that marks their first ever visit down under. And what unfolded from the proceedings of the night was an unquestionably mesmerising and captivating event that heavily outranks countless gigs that 2018 has provided.

It hadn’t even been twenty minutes after doors opened, and Sundr already shook Max Watts with a wall of ultra-heavy vibrations that buzzed across the room. The sonic intensity that blared throughout the venue had reached levels of volume that would even make the best quality noise-cancelling earplugs inferior, which also gave the spectators an even broader, and positively deafening take on the spectrum. Sundr’s melancholic and pugnacious semblance within their sound made them a much more formidable entity to their physical image, which also really established the quality of what was to be witnessed in the eyes and ears of those at Max Watts.

Sydney sludge representatives Lo! brought livelier and far more animated characteristics to the stage, executing a handful of whiplashing bangers off 2017’s “Vestigial” record. As the lovechild band of Converge and Cult of Luna, Lo!’s perception stood out differently to the rest of the lineup, not just sound-wise, but also with how vocalist Sam Dillon seemed as though he was being brutally possessed as he bellowed into the mic. Despite being a post-metal headlining show, it wasn’t stopping anyone from being able to throw their heads around as Lo! encapsulated a grim, fierce and well-endowed recital to a congregation of black t-shirts.

With additional lighting and dark ambient music reverberating in the background, YLVA later appeared on the stage with an immediate, and guttural shriek from the quartet’s set of strings and percussion. From there on, YLVA exemplified a perfect take on an emulsion of post, doom and sludge metal with such hypnotic, strenuous and belligerent overtones. The group’s onstage production added more peculiarity and cognitive stimulation to their audible fingerprint, which fluently translated the fruits of their labour and the identity of themselves as one of Australia’s most endowed artists in the underground. For

As the white backdrop projected the band’s logo and later faded to a compilation of scenic visuals, Amenra appeared in an orderly fashion, only to then burst into an extreme and caustic fit through Boden. Right after the commencement of their set, Amenra had not only caught the immediate attention of every spectator in the venue, but in fact, had them put into a spellbinding affair of enthrallment and ferocity. Whether you experienced a track such as Razoreater, Diaken or Am Kreuz, the sensations that were driven by the band would instantaneously put you through an episode of existential awareness that you would never have felt before. It would feel similar to that of astral projection, but in the spotlight of reverberation and such atmospheric intricacies that easily take you away into the moment. As amazing as they sound on CD, LP or even through streaming services, one could never compare them to what you would see and feel from their onstage projection.

Though composing a firm description for a gig can sometimes be problematic for some people such as myself, this show was definitely not one of those events that could ever be explained perfectly, even with the most eloquently worded sentences. Everything about each live performance had overwhelmingly reached the true pinnacle of capturing such serenity and astonishment. This wasn’t a gig… this was a journey… and I want to live in the Church of Ra for the rest of my life after what was most definitely, one of the very best live presentations of the decade.

Setlist:
Boden
Razoreater
Plus près de toi (Closer to You)
Thurifer
Nowena | 9.10
Diaken
Terziele
Am Kreuz
Silver Needle. Golden Nail