Sunday, March 8, 2009

Review: Enoch - Angel of Perdition (2007)

Enoch [ MySpace ]
Angel of Perdition

Angel of Perdition is the debut demo from southern Italy's Enoch. Taking their cue from bands like Celestial Season and early Anathema, this Black Metal sextet offers up a somber slab of symphonic anguish on each of the demo's six tracks. The production is actually quite decent for a demo, which helps bring forth many of the subtleties so key to this style of music that otherwise might have gone unheard in the mix.

The "Intro" and "Outro" tracks are pretty standard fare, serving as brief instrumental pieces that bookend the core of the demo with atmosphere. As you'd expect, keyboards play a significant role throughout the demo and Misan (the man behind the keys) plies his trade well. Whether delivering somber string passages, haunting intros, or creating feelings of anxious dread, the synth elements are at the forefront of Enoch's sound. As conspicuous as the keys are, guitarists Dan and Giu deliver an equal portion of aggressive riffs. "Silence Embraced" stands out for some fairly elaborate solos and a few shrill licks that are as pleasing to the ear as a dentist's drill. "The Poem of Emptyness" and "Pray" both have plenty of tremolo picking, though the latter song also features some extremely groove-oriented riffs thanks to help from bassist Dom. Frontman Rain can be considered a vocal jack of all trades, dishing out everything from nearly inaudible whispers on "Silence Embraced" to raptor-like shrieks on "The Poem of Emptyness", though he primarily sticks with a mix of straightforward deathish growls and blackened rasps.

Despite being a first recording, Angel of Perdition is an interesting album of symphonic Black Metal that touches all of the bases and meets the expectations of the style. Enoch still has plenty of room for improvement, but they display a knack for creating quality songs that hold to the genre but also have the potential to reach out across stylistic boundaries ("Pray" is the prime example of this). As of this review, the band is in the studio recording a follow-up to Angel of Perdition, so fans of symphonic Black Metal should keep their fingers on Enoch's pulse.

Track Listing
1 Intro 0:58
2 Silence Embraced 7:52
3 The Poem of Emptyness 4:53
4 Anima Dream 1:41
5 Pray 4:34
6 Outro 1:10
Total Runtime 21:08

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