Nov 22, 2011

Enfold Darkness "Our Cursed Rapture" Review

Genre: Technical Death Metal / Black Metal
Location: Nashville, TN

Sumerian Records is known for signing technically proficient bands that often fall under the category of deathcore. Certainly there are few people who would protest that practice as it brought the metal community such groups as Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris. It is a breath of fresh air though to listen to Tennessee’s own Enfold Darkness on their Sumerian debut “Our Cursed Rapture”. The musicians in this band are without a doubt technically proficient one and all, takes for example drummer Jack Blackburn’s extreme hammering throughout the entire album and certainly exemplified on such tracks as “Exaltations” parts one and two or the excellent timing showcased on “Our Cursed Rapture” or guitarists Matt Brown and James Turk displaying their talents on the same tracks and their fearsome work on songs like “In the Galleries of the Utmost Evil” which includes a nice soft jazzy passage that was an interesting turn from a band that stands on both sides of the Black Metal and Death Metal divide and never once upsets the delicate balance needed to pull that blend out sound off successfully. Enfold Darkness never once sounds like a death metal band, or a black metal band, they sound like a band that has learned the discipline and ferocity to combine those two savage and chaotic sounds and mix them together with a dose of amazing musical skill to boot. Bass on this recording was also handled by James Turk who clearly grasps the fact that too little or too much bass swings this album into one genre or the other and has managed to find equilibrium that listeners will be sure to delight in. Justin Corser’s vocals are just as extreme as he displays his ability to shriek and belt out lyrics, backed up by guitarists Matt Brown’s own hisses and snarls that would make even the holiest of the holy tremble in their sadistic wake. “Altars of Perdition” an acoustic instrumental track that is nowhere as brutal or fiery as the other songs on this record but is every bit as infectious and haunting furthers the idea that Enfold Darkness is a band as full of talent as it is surprises. A nice touch that I feel is a bonus to all those with the hard copy of this album is the liner notes, aside from providing essential lyrics also credits the extremely talented guitarists along with guest guitarist on several songs, Malcolm Pugh with guitar solos displacing the lyrics a bit to show where they performed them, certainly not an essential element of the albums experience but just a nice aesthetic touch. There is no fair way to sum up “Our Cursed Rapture” concisely, suffice it to say this is an extraordinary album by a phenomenal band that has found a way to stand out in an increasingly crowded metal scene. The concepts, the music, the liner notes, it’s all there and it gives those who listen to it an immensely rare experience. As a fan who discovered this band when they were still unsigned, I felt at the time the band deserved the chance to be heard, they have had it, and it has exceeded all expectations. Certainly their next effort, although with several lineup changes has this reviewer waiting with great anticipation.
Rating: 5/5