In todays world there are a whole host of genres and a barrage of genre nazis out there to back them up (myself included). As such I am always pleased to come across albums which I can happily tag with a long list of styles, such is the case with Enfold Darkness and their blend of Technical Blackened Death Metal.
Enfold Darkness are certainly no newcomers having formed in 2005, but it is clear by the time they have taken between releases that they have a certain attention to detail. Released through The Artisan Era, Adversary Omnipotent is 8 years in the making, the follow up to their 2009 debut Our Cursed Rapture, and its easy to see why its taken the time. The album is an hour long epic divided into acts, akin to the likes of Bal-Sagoth in its over the top conceptual nature.
The album begins with a suitability ethereal instrumental intro or should I say the Prelude before taking us into Act I: Im’Maud’Hi-The Redeemer and destroying the suspense with Lairs Of The Ascended Masters. This track is an instant all out attack of Technical Blackened Death wizardry with a great degree of melodic infulence, as well as the perfect vocal range of Andy Nelson weaving between Death Metal growls and the sheer punishing shreiks of Melo Death, which make for some great pronunciation.
Next comes the beautiful opening riffs of Liberator Of Mages, a somewhat less intense affair than the previous track but none the less impressive, with all elements of instrumentation shining brightly. Most impressibly the consistency of Greg Vances’ drumming.
The Sacred Daemonic charges in with utter technical madness, speed and energy. We are then caught up in the Invocation Of Na’ak Ba’ran (a brilliantly outlandish song title). The song begins in a mysterious somewhat ambient tone adding a layer of atmosphere to this release, before enveloping us in a slower paced wrath of audible torment, complete once again with relentless drumming.
The speed picks up towards the end of Invocation of Na’ak Ba’ran and seemlessly blends into a whirlwinds of musical mastery with Banishment, where guitarists Elijah Whitehead and James Turk really come to the forefront. We then enter the Interlude of the album Arise, Morning Star, Into The Netherworld. A far cleaner instrumental piece which allows the musicians to show of their talents in a more delicate fashion, whilst also providing a perfect break in the epic concepts of this album.
Act II: Divine Alchemist then begins with the somewhat title track The Adversary, Omnipotent which almost serves as a fresh start to a new album with is more orchestrated introduction. This is only complimented further as the blackened notes of devestation come rising through and lead into a total abyss of brutality and epic musical landscapes.
Terror Of A Perilous Quest comes through next with a beutifully techincal riff, this song once again displays the guiatrists talents in full force. This song shines brightly amongst the fray of tracks and stands as a perfect example of what Enfold Darkness are here to present, much like the following track, The Test Of Wisdom which comes by in a similar fashion displaying further power and majesty.
The second act then comes to a close with The Dirge Of The Surrogate Invictus. A perfect ending to this act following in the footsteps of its predecessors and exhibiting some truly evil sounding instrumentation. The third and final act (Act III: Im’Maud’Hi-The Destroyer) prepares to leave us completely blown away as Summoning The Archons comes to lay down more slabs of carnage in the already ethereal, astronomical pathway that has been presented thus far.
Everything comes to a close when we Vanish Into Damnation. A massive 8 minute track of the utmost epic proportions, bringing all elements of this fantastic album together in one beautiful, brutal package.
At the start of this review I mentioned my alligience to genre nazism, something which people probably get really tired of. Something I sometimes get tired of however is paddling through the overflowing waters of music in search of a rare species, especially so when it comes to metal. Enfold Darkness are a rare breed, the talent this band has is only compliemented by their exceptional songwriting. Whether you’re a fan of the whole epic concept album idea or not, there is simply no denying that this albun is a standout when it comes to Extreme Metal, as a blanket term.
Buy the album here: http://www.theartisanera.com/category/enfold-darkness