Enthral     

Obtenebrate

Duplicate Records 2012

Norway's long hidden/underrated black metal gem, Enthral return from the cold, mist-shrouded north with their fourth full-length.  Cold, calculated and clinical black metal that slices with the precision of a scalpel.  With the production every instrument has room to breathe.  The title-track which is basically an intro, opens the album with a modern black metal texture and the riffs slowly weave themselves across the fabric of the song.  Then a plodding tempo and grim vocals slide like a snake before the Gospel Of Woe leaps into a period of blasting violence.  Elements of Mayhem and Thorns arise during the varied and dissonant passages within the 12 minute long track.  At times I hear similarities to Antaeus, but less aggressive and chaotic.  Enthral remains really controlled and their songs are measured steps surgical iciness.  Lay Waste continues along this path as a malicious mood permeates the track through its constantly changing pass and explosions of aggression.  Rhythmic frenzy overtakes the song as the snares hit sharply like the snapping of bones and a Slayer-esque guitar section caves into a hyper blast of modern Nordic evil.  The song erupts into uncontrolled savagery that lays waste to my ears while shards of disharmony serve to unbalance my emotions.  Pallbearer loops from constantly shifting drum patterns into a lulled period of doomy darkness.  The drums then hammer away and speed towards the limit of speed only to once again collapse and begin the cycle anew.  Shades of Nordic black metal melodies struggle against a layer of frost on the track.  The 7th Wave immediately unleashes a typhoon of blasting riffs and rapid fire snares only to effortlessly shift into disharmonic shards and angular torrents of speed.  The track later breaks into a short period of galloping pacing that is perhaps the catchiest moment on the album.  Of course this is short-lived and we once again return to slow, frigid dispassion.  My one complaint about the album is that it is too long, clocking in at an hour and eight minutes.  Enthral's newest album is a deadly and razor-sharp arsenal of modern black metal.  Disharmony and dementia abound.