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Chapter I of AMENRA Evolution: SPINELESS

Time for another H8000 post, the posts I like making the most. The post contains an interesting history and evolution from Spineless (90’s H8000) to AmenRa (1st decade of the 21st century). This post is the product of reflection and more than a day in writing it down and rewriting it again and again, erasing and adding stuff, looking for examples, evidence, etc. But finally it is here, enjoy!

Dedicated readers know that I have already made a post about Spineless. So they know that this is pre-AmenRa. I you haven’t read it already look it up here.

Now that I have obtained the missing piece in my collection called “A Talk Between Me And The Stars”, I need no further explanation to the relation between these 2 bands.

Because this full-length really is the gateway from their early work (the Painfields 7″) to the nowadays band of Collin and Mondy; the legendary AmenRa (altough Mondy is not in Amenra anymore nowadays).

Therefore this full length is a crucial release for the local scene and sound. So, in this post I will do my best to give a to the point evolution and sonic history of the band in a nutshell, because I know you do not like lengthy texts. I will not say everything, but this is rather a guide for those who own these records. Merely hinting the deeper meaning.

SPINELESS “Painfields”

cover spineless painfields 7 inch sober mind records

This 7″/midCD was released by Hans of Sober Mind Records. Respect!

In sound: the music is vivid and has a lot of stir, fast mosh parts combined with metallic heaviness and brutal vocal delivery of Colio. A typical sound for the H8000 scene at its peak of expansion, also known as Edge-Metal.

In lyrics: also stereotypical to the H8000 scene. And this because they have the following subjects in the lyrics:

  • The song called “The Key” has lyrics about the scene they are in; a call for respect and a warning for their peers about some who pollute the community. They call the key ‘UNITY‘ in this song. And stress the fact that the X stands for respect in their scene.
  • “Painfields” is about the perception Colin has of the suffering that surround us all in the society we live in, by taking and killing animal life.
  • The next song, called “Human Disgrace” is more philosophical; an attitude that typifies every H8000 kid; criticism and hate towards religion.
  • But also the existential emotion of solitude and about the individual journey of life, aware of darkness and death that crosses everybody’s path is described in the last song. Related is “Eclips Of Hate”, a very important and almost visionary song for the lyric-writer himself.

The conclusion is that with this 7″ they do not make a groundbreaking or pioneering piece of hardcore like their predecessors LIAR and CONGRESS, but still very worthy of being in the H8000 hall of fame, because they play the edge-metal well and are true to the core of the sound.

SPINELESS “A Talk Between Me And The Stars”

cover spineless a talk between me and the stars CD sober mind records

After the 7″, they recorded their one and only full-length called “A Talk Between Me And the Stars”. It came out on CD as well on colored vinyl, and was also released by Hans Sober Mind.

If have to be careful in describing this one, because it is a subtle change that they made in writing their music. Despite this subtle change they stay true to the genre. Doing this is hard but they succeed very well. The transition lies in the following points:

  • The music becomes more down-tempo and therefore heavier sounding, they slow down their pace.
  • The voice becomes more screamy.
  • The themes of their lyrics also evolve from outer/social perceptions to perceptions of the inner-self. With a high sensitivity for and awareness of suffering and adversity.
  • The two last songs of the Spineless 7″, “Human Disgrace” and “Eclipse Of Hate” are also on this full length. They are both rather about the inner-self…and therefore fittingly on this record. Another related song and about an event very influential for their later work is the song “Afraid To Live”
  • The song ‘Worromot Yadot’ is instrumental, but not entirely, there are numerous screams that echo endlessly… With this track AmenRa was born!

I’m not saying that SPINELESS and AMENRA are uniform, but there are elements that started with “Painfields”, continued with “A Talk Between Me And The Stars” and that these elements return in every later release made by these guys. Also not saying that the evolution is entirely linear, as in the tempo slowing down, but when you hear “A Talk Between Me And The Stars” you can surely hear that the band became ripe and that they became able to make a change within the H8000 hardcore blend and got innovative.

So LIAR and CONGRESS made the edge-metal great, later SPINELESS adapted this sound in their beginnings, to then make something unique after the 90’s. In this Spineless full length is the embryo of that change. Disciples became masters, to start something of their own. And continue to keep the West-Flanders underground music scene innovative and evolving.

Notes:

  1. The LP has a different cover than the CD
  2. The 7″ cover is the same as the midCD cover
  3. The cover art of the full-length CD shown here is courtesy of Matthieu Claus
  4. I’m not going to provide a download of this, this is illegal. And is not respectful for the band nor the label. So DO NOT REQUEST A DOWNLOAD. Search for this LP or CD your entire life; you won’t regret you did it once you have found it! I have done one download once and nobody gave reply to the band nor label nor me, so why the hell would I do this again?
  5. You can discuss what I’m saying in the comments, I’m not saying that my truth is a holy truth.
  6. Note that I never heard the demo so I can’t include this in the evolution, but I do start from the “Painfields” 7″.

2 replies »

  1. Hello.First of all, i'm french and speak english like a spanish cow (french private joke). I found your blog when i was looking for pre-AmenRa stuff. It gives me really good informations that i'wasn't aware. I saw photos of Colin when he was younger, and it makes me smile.And then, i'm coming again today and i see your name: mine is Termote too and my grandfather was from Heule near Kortrijk !!! Weird …I saw AmenRa three times:- in Lille/Rijsel (in december 2009) where i baught the “tripod” tee-shirt;- in Ieper/Ypres (in august this year) where i baught the Live DVD and the Kingdom LP in White. I spoke few seconds with Mathieu van de Kerckhove;- in a little city near Rouen, in Normandie, two weaks later, where i baught the white “dead crow” tee-shirt and spoke a little with Colin and Bong. They where very king to wrote some words on my MASS IIII vinyl gatefold !!!

    Like

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