Enshine – (Don’t) Avoid the Light

Wednesday, 21st October 2015

Since there are no more Gold or Platinum sales within the sphere of metal, perhaps the most daunting task for any band is following up a well-received debut album. Slide in the classic line of “It takes years to write your debut,” and it makes sense – there’s no vacuum of pressure, nor the awaiting ears and ready-to-drop opinions of your new-found fanbase. It’s almost too easy. But that sophomore album…better strap ‘yer boots on.

Such a scenario applies for Swedish atmospheric death metal duo Enshine, whose 2013 Origin debut was simply fantastic, a prevailing romp through spacey segments, heady melodic guitar work, forged with the brutish tongue of vocalist Sebastian Pierre, who also does time in French melodic death metal up-and-comers Fractal Gates. It was a ringing triumph for main dude Jari Lindholm, who put together Enshine off the back of Slumber, a band whose potential was never fully realized, even after their monumental lone effort Fallout from 2007.

Alas, the band’s new Singularity effort is essentially the other side to Origin. It’s equally as graceful (the soothing solo on “Adrift” certainly cements that notion), while the astral quality to Lindholm’s compositions supply more than a few intriguing moments to be found on “In Our Mind,” “Dual Existence” and album highlight “Apex.” With all that in tow, we snagged Mr. Lindholm for a chat of the email variety. Here’s the scoop:

Dead Rhetoric: Slumber was never able to gain any type of momentum and/or consistency. But, with Enshine, clearly you have something really exciting going on. How refreshing is it to be in a band with such a clear direction, and, motivation to do things?

Jari Lindholm: Well, the one album we made with Slumber [Fallout] is still probably the most successful album I’ve been part of but, as nothing more really happened I was quite eager to get out some of the ideas I had in mind that hadn’t yet been realized but were similar in style. And it still keeps coming.

Dead Rhetoric: Origin was so well-received…did that create any sort of pressure when coming up songs for the new album?

Lindholm: Yes, of course, well honestly, I didn’t feel too much pressure myself while we were coming up with the songs. It’s a pretty relaxed and fun process mostly, but I did put a lot of effort into topping the overall execution and production of the debut.

Dead Rhetoric: Is working alone sometimes hindrance for you? Is there anyone around for you to bounce ideas off of?

Lindholm: I don’t work alone all the time as we try to write in the same location as much as possible. However, I work a lot alone during the recording process, but I don’t mind as it allows me to focus and if others were around they would probably go crazy when I get into some small detail hour after hour.  Sometimes I need somebody else’s input for some parts of it, for example, the last stages of mixing were done together with Thomas at The Panic Room,  a good old friend of mine with very good ears and skills!

Dead Rhetoric: Are the two albums supposed to be connected to one another? Seems like there’s a few common threads between the two.

Lindholm: Yes, one is the birth and the other is the subsequent life, you could say. There are a few different ways we have thought about that. They have a lot of common themes in the lyrics also, and some of the visual aspects.

Dead Rhetoric: How early does Sebastien get involved? And, what’s it like working with such a strong singer?

Lindholm: He is involved already in the writing process. Then, I will usually arrange the recording of all the instruments here after which he adds lyrics and comes over to record the vocals. Haven’t really thought about it that way exactly, what I think about regarding whoever I may work with is about finding a good way to collaborate on a personal level, finding mutual inspirations and so on, as well as having the skills necessary to attain the musical goal of course, but the stronger the better, I suppose.

Dead Rhetoric: You used a live drummer this time out. What was your connection to Fredrik?

Lindholm: Prior to recording the album, I was searching for a drummer who could play both traditional metal styles as well as some more dynamic stuff, I found Fredrik’s ad and some of his drumming videos online and he seemed to be the guy for the job – [he’s] skilled and versatile, and I´m very happy with the results.

Dead Rhetoric: Your clean vocals are very underrated. Are you finding them more enjoyable to do?

Lindholm: Thank you! The clean vocals are an interesting challenge to do and this time we used both of our voices in the clean vocal parts so that was something new again. It´s a lot more sensitive suddenly, when it comes to nuances and pronunciation compared to growling which I have also done a little bit in the past. I try to record some vocals once in a while to practice and develop the skill. Sometimes it´s enjoyable and sometimes frustrating! But I find the recording medium vital for me to be able to develop my vocal abilities, as it can be difficult to judge your own performance without an outside perspective.

Dead Rhetoric: Will you continue with the “Astrarium” theme for future albums?

Lindholm: As these two first albums are pretty closely connected with each other, it felt natural to have a “bridge” between them like this. If that continues onto the third album, we will see when we get there!

Dead Rhetoric: Is the itch and/or desire there to do any live shows?

Lindholm: Yes, I enjoy playing live, and I would like to at some point arrange some kind of doom/death metal event in Stockholm with us and a few other similar bands if we are not able to exactly tour. This genre isn´t exactly particularly popular here at all, even among the metal crowd but I think if a few bands of similar style would play the same show I think it could attract the few fans there are at least. There are a lot of factors that make it quite difficult for us to play live at the moment though. Being only two in the band is one, the distance another.

Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2015, going into 2016?

Lindholm: Right now I will start working on new material with my post rock band, Seas of Years and doing some gigs with them, I guess it will continue into the spring or so!

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