Scott Kelly is a busy man, and so are the collected members of Amenra; both parties have an ever-growing number of musical and artistic projects going at all times, and the fruits of their varied labors never disappoint. Given the sonic and spiritual similarities between Neurosis and Amenra, it's hard to believe that the twain had never really met in a recorded sense before, and I'm sure I'm far from the only fan who's wondered how such a meeting would play out. Now, thanks to a well-timed suggestion from a storied Belgian record label, we're about to find our answer.
The result? A 20-minute meditation on darkness, light, consciousness, and oblivion, deftly orchestrated by a trio of men who've devoted the lion's share of their lives to the pursuit of and loving manipulation of heavy music. Upon its imminent release, the project's debut album will take the fifth and final slot in Belgian label Hypertension Records' The Abyss Stares Back collaboration series of releases.
Listen to the album-slash-track in full below, and read on for some thoughts from its creators. Absent in Body will be made available on limited-edition vinyl come January 20 on Hypertension Records.
Scott Kelly of Neurosis told Noisey, "Absent In Body was born out of friendship and mutual artistic respect. It's something that came very naturally to us in midst of all of our individual and collective creative processes. I'm extremely proud of this song and I look forward to the three of us exploring the world sonically in the future. Hopefully this will all result in us getting Absent In Body onto the stage at some point down the line."
Mathieu Vandekerckhove (Syndrome/Amenra) commented, "Ralf of Hypertension asked us if we wanted to be a part of [the label's] The Abyss Stares Back series. The plan was basically that Scott Kelly and I were going to release a split; we played a few shows with our solo projects and then we came up with the idea to work together as a collaboration. We exchanged ideas over the internet and so together we built this creation; later we asked Collin to join this project.
We will definitely do further work on this project, The Abyss Stares Back was just the trigger. We are working on a full length album, and in the future we will play shows. [As for the video,] the choking effect of corporate news and social media forces us to believe we have reached some sort of endtime. I wanted the video to portray exactly that, and the music also squeezes tight around your throat. Forcing fear into your heart, hope out of your being. We are Absent in Body.
Colin H Van Eeckhout of Amenra and CHVE added, "I joined AIB when I was on tour with Scott last year (January 2016), where Mathieu worked from home and sent through audio every day. And we mailed stuff hence and forth throughout the tour then we got together to record when we played Belgium. And again six months after that when Neurosis played Belgium in the summer '16. It is definitely a project we want to follow up on, since now we did this right amidst the writing processes and recordings our main bands, but we all felt the need and urgency for AIBs existence.
There is a necessity to it. But we were very much restricted by time and distance. We want to create the ultimate beast that doesn't really conform to expectation or convention. Now we all have more time on our hands to delve deeper into the creation of more thought through and instinctive innovative sound. I am really looking forward to this. And as soon as we write another album, I am sure that we will take this to the road."
Kim Kelly is looking forward to seeing Absent in Body live; for now, she's on Twitter.