Enshine – Origin (Rain Without End Records)Wednesday, 11th September 2013
Sweden’s defunct-since-’11 Slumber have slowly started to gain some respect and traction for their lone album, 2004’s Fallout. As one of the few atmospheric melodic doom bands to make headway the last decade, Slumber were beset by a lack of productivity and internal concern over their direction, resulting in not only their split, but the creation of two bands: Atoma, and Enshine. Atoma got out of the gate first with last year’s almost-great Skylight; Enshine one-ups them with the excellent Origin.
The hallmarks of Slumber are far more present in Enshine than they are Atoma: Deep, brooding melodies, piles of keyboard layers, and hushed, sparse dynamics that only heighten the album’s more showy moments. Perhaps we could cast this as having some glances toward a futuristic Brave Murder Day, especially when those sweeping melodic guitar lines take shape on “Refraction,” “Ambivalence” and “Above Us.” These ideas are common throughout the album’s nine cuts, almost giving the batch of songs an inner-connection feel without it being patchwork or bland.
Suitably, the death roar of Sebastien Pierre (also of Fractal Gates) hangs low in the mix, almost there as a background element while the multi-instrumentation front of main dude Jari Lindholm erects tall, monolithic song structures. Origin encapsulates nearly all that is worthy and just within the dark, atmospheric death metal realm, and stays out of doom territory probably ending up as the year’s top debut. Highly recommended.