Parting Gift – Ensom (Fearless Records)

Wednesday, 10th April 2019
Rating: 7.5/10

Just as bleak and cold as the cover art would lead you to believe, Parting Gift are able to bring in darkness by the truckload. A gloomy coating of fog surrounds the 20-minute runtime, establishing the band as being quite capable of delivering in the post-hardcore scene. Even if Ensom is just sort of laying the groundwork.

A dark and dreary atmosphere is the setting that one is going to dive into with Ensom. For better or worse, there’s really no reprieve from this feeling. Whether the band is more reserved from a sonic perspective at any given moment doesn’t really vary from their goals – even with some of the more ‘upbeat’ sounding tracks (such as the title track) are still ready to swallow you up with sadness. But this setting suits the band, and at a shorter runtime, there’s no negative in bombarding the listener with this one particular emotion, though it may cause the album to blur a bit with longer recordings. The one major buy-in for the tried and true metalheads on this one is going to be the vocals. Gentle croons are what you are going to get, with a slightly emo/shoegaze range to them. While it’s one piece that gives the band a more modern approach (and makes them less likely to be lumped in with the post-black squads out there), it may be too clean for some readers. That said, it does fit the tone of the music they are going for.

Ensom is more of a taste than anything else from Parting Gift. There’s much to enjoy if you are up for some atmospheric darkness and can get into some decidedly non-metal vocal styles. It will be interesting to see what directions they head in the future.

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