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Enshine - Singularity (2015) - Review

Band: Enshine
Album title: Singularity
Release date: 18 October 2015
Label: Rain Without End Records

Tracklist:
01. Dual Existence
02. Adrift
03. Resurgence
04. In Our Mind
05. Astarium Pt. II
06. Echoes
07. Dreamtide
08. The Final Trance
09. Apex

What a mark on the whole melodic death/doom/atmospheric and even gothic metal scene left the debut album from Enshine, Origin, one of the 2013's metal highlights, with its mesmerizing mind provoking soundscapes that were built on one of a kind atmospheric guitar lines and ethereal ambiances. Now the Swedish/French collaboration, which features in line-up the guitar master Jari Lindholm, known from many different bands/projects like are Slumber, AtomA, Exgenesis, Seas Of Years, who already became a guarantee for a great, flawless and unique melodic riff, and vocalist Sébastien Pierre (Fractal Gates, Inborn Suffering, Cold Insight), returns with sophomore album which continues at the point where Origin left off. The band, just like on the debut album, is once again on a mission to lead the listener out of his earthly prison into the vast unlimitedness of space, exploring its beauty and harshness.

Singularity is an album mostly for those who like to be overtaken by stunning melodic and spacey guitar lines. Ok, there are not only those highly captivating guitars in here, but are well aided by strong rhythmic line and fantastic ambiental and gothy synths, which sometimes expands into some gentle piano touches, and are a bit more prominent than before. The deep harsh vocals are responsible for a connection of Singularity with the extreme metal side, and if I was quite in awe with Sébastien's vocal approach on Origin, now I must say that his vocals are the weakest point here. Not because that the vocals are in any way bad, maybe a bit too linear, but otherwise good, the problem is that I find the instrumental side of Singularity worth something better and when the band comes up with some clean vocals, then the sounds reminds me to Alcest for some reason, like for example on the beautiful "Adrift" or on "In Our Mind", the whole atmosphere then becames much more soothing. Nevertheless, Enshine offers a strong, yet very powerful sound and one of the best representatives of the album must be already the opener "Dual Existence", a track that has all the necessary power to grab the listener already at the beginning and plunge him deep into this turmoil of semi-paced doom metal. Singularity is a very well produced dreamy sonic adventure, always divided between light and darkness, and should be approached like that. Those who search for some technical and progressive elements will be disappointed and I can only congratulate to the band that they were not trying to go that way, like some critics suggested them after the first album, as otherwise the sound could lose this haunting drive that is in this or another way present through the whole playing time.

All of the nine featured compositions are maintaining on a very high level the melodic factor, which often goes into post-rock and post-metal waters, present as much as possible, sometimes maybe even too much and if you are not fully concetrated on the whole thing it might become boring after a while. Thanks to the short atmospheric instrumental interlude "Astrarium Pt. II" the album gets nicely divided into two parts and gains some necessary dynamics before the band kicks off with some spaced-out radiant darkness and vibrating pulses on "Echoes", and trying to get a bit more death metal-ish on "Dreamtide" and on "The Final Trance" with some blasting rhythms and a couple of truly haunting riffs. The album ends with the stunning and very dynamic post/doom instrumental track "Apex", where the band melted together variuos elements, so expect also some metalgaze, post-rock and yet much more things blended well with Enshine's trademark atmospheric melo death/doom sound.

All in all, Jari and Sébastien made an album that is a decent successor to their magnificient debut and a solid continuation of the story that started with genesis on Origin, now going into the most complex processes of life formations, into new worlds of mind and space. In my opinion Singularity is a very strong album, but it lacks at a certain point that primal innocence and passion that made their previous album so dynamic and interesting. Still, Singularity is one of the best choices you can make while searching for some good atmospheric and melodic doom/death metal. There are hard to be found inside the extreme metal scene so many mind blowing guitar melodies on one single pile like right here.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Draconian
Album title: Sovran
Release date: 30 October 2015
Label: Napalm Records

Sovran is a proof that the combination of gothic metal and doom metal works out perfectly if you have top notch musicians performing and composing it. While the pace of the album is a bit slower and not so direct like on some of their previous albums, the whole gloomy atmosphere is outstanding, songs are catchy, flowing, dramatic and absolutely racked by melancholy. Most of the melodies are stunningly captivating, guitar sound is gentle and heavy at the same time, often we hear those typical slowly gliding evocative trademark Draconian lines and riffs which brings tears in the eye, the rhythmic line is crushing, just right to give that necessary dose of turbulent doom metal and slight aggression into these compositions. The multidimensional ambiance gets often fulfilled with obscure gothy symphonic synths which give to the songs such an unimaginable depth and rich sound. All of the songs on Sovran are nicely building up in atmosphere, there are so many layers and the one who would like to take everything this album offers should be concetrated on the music as much as possible, possibly setting up a perfect mood. Sovran is magical, soothing, melancholic and dreamy adventure, yet it is ponderous, powerful and heavy by partly remaining loyal to the formula from their debut album, Where Lovers Mourn (2003), where the band made a deviation from their early death/black metal days into a dark and doomy metal style which convinced fans of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and early Anathema.

Read a full review HERE