Review: Enshine – Origin

 
Overall Impression
9.5


 
Lyrics
8.5


 
Musical Quality
9.5


 
Originality
9.5


 
Total Score
9.3


 

Release Date


15 May 2013

Country


Sweden / France


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Posted September 24, 2018 by

 
The Review
 
 

Some beloved bands in my music collection share a similar epic synthesizer and guitar fueled sound, floating on strong melodies instead of mindless death growling and easy riffs. AtomA, Slumber and Seas of Years for instance produced memorable and high quality music. Only after some time I came to the realization that they also all share band member Jari Lindholm. Every project Jari Lindholm starts or participates in, seems to turn into genius gold. AtomA is simply outstanding, Slumber is a little known but highly praised previous musical collaboration from AtomA’s band members, and for Enshine, Jari Lindhold worked together since 2009 with vocalist Sébastien Pierre (Inborn Suffering, Fractal Gates), as well as AtomA band members Siavosh Bigonah on bass and Oscar Borgenstam on drums.




Origin, Enshine’s debut album, is a metal album for the thinking man. I’d call it a masterpiece. It steers away from the beaten paths of death metal and their emphasis of doom and growl over melody, and instead takes the listener on an atmospheric journey with gripping melodies, cast in a forceful frame. The album strikes a good musical and energetic balance. It contains rough around the edge songs like “Stream of Light” and “Refraction”, which enforcing growls over sweeping synthesizers and strong guitar leads build the album up towards the adverbial ‘wall of sound’. It alternates such tracks with more refined songs with strong melodic themes, clean singing and a catchy sci-fi feel, pushing you through space and time. Just as I like my music personally. High and low energy songs alternate and flow over into one another over the course of the album, with stand out tracks such as “Nightwave” and “Above Us” packing up the pace with piercing bass lines, while other songs like “Astrarium” deliver a reflective soothing stillness almost, taking you along on a ambient cloud that balances the energy levels of this album out. The track “Ambivalence” on the other hand has roaring guitar solos which link to good post-rock music.

Emotion is created with just the right amount of keyboard, avoiding overkill or a Vengalis-sort of keyboard kitsch we can hear sometimes in other bands. Instead, Enshine steers towards sincere moments of emotional exhilaration, masterfully balancing voice, guitars and keys which are carried by stand out melody lines. Despite the relative short duration of the album – it lasts just over 40 minutes – strong musical themes are given the space to be worked out in many of its tracks. Aside from death growling vocals in some of the songs, “Origin” features also some clean vocals, some whispering vocals and even the occasional eerie choir sounds in the background. The lyrics of this album are fairly abstract and poetic, underlining a general feeling of loss, melancholia and dream-like other dimensions.

This album came with a fitting tagline: “A musical exploration of the world within”. Melodic death meets atmospheric doom in a musical trip that despite it all, turns out surprisingly uplifting. Jari Lindholm allows a masterly use of keyboards, with tantalizing main theme chords, to stir the album up into a kaleidoscope of motion and movement, just like AtomA achieved this with their album ‘Skylight’ (2012). Yet Enshine is no copy of Lindholms other projects; it makes use of well chosen growls in some of its songs (although I personally prefer Ehsan Kalantarpours piercing voice, on “Origin” the growls absolutely work), and has its own uplifting, predominantly electronically streamlined and perhaps less exotic sound. But without losing a mysterious under layer. Polished, yet rough around the edges; a perfect balance is struck in this excellent album that is packed with emotion.

Some of my favourite tracks include Cinders, Nightwave, Above Us and Constellation. I have been listening them (with headphones on!) for many years now and they never cease to move my emotions and lift my energy levels. “Origin” features songs that are easy to appeal to anyone with a melodic sense; tracks that lure you in a sometimes reflective, sometimes hauntingly entrancing universe of their own, demanding your imagination. A place in the mind where there are no fixed labels; these songs are not melancholic but neither upbeat. They just are. It would be a mistake to overlook the unfolding power of this cohesive album as a whole, which is also perfect in its production quality. In the end, at the very least some stand out masterpiece tracks on this album will withstand the force of time within this niche of music, that much I am convinced of.

Two days before the release of this album “Origin”, Enshine released the excellent single ‘Brighter’. It has been made available separately, but also features a bonus track on the digital version of the album. I think it should have been a fixed track on “Origin” as it belongs in the same realm and is another stand out track, combining deep-rooted growls with crystal melodies and pulsating guitar riffs.

 

****

 

Stand out tracks: Cinders, Nightwave, Above Us and Constellation.

 

Track list:

1. Stream of Light

2. Refraction

3. Cinders

4. Astrarium

5. Nightwave

6. Ambivalence

7. Immersed

8. Above Us

9. Constellation

 

Label: Rain Without End Records

 

Origin, Enshine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTU3RfIfUWk

 

If you like Enshine, also check out: AtomA, Slumber, Seas of Years, Alcest, Les Discrets, Widek (for instance the track ‘Nova’), Ixion, Cold Insight, Katatonia, Distant Dream, M83, Sólstafir, Oh Hiroshima, Last Leaf Down, Silent Whale Becomes A Dream.

 

And of course don’t forget to check out my long youtube playlist with many good songs, mainly in the genres shoegaze, post-rock, indie, atmospheric rock, melodic metal and dream-pop.


Natalja O.

 


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