Enochian Crescent
Black Church


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Anderton USER (27 Reviews)
December 31st, 2008 | 29 replies | 6,464 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Excellent melodies with awesome riffs to boot.

It’s truly astonishing how much material flies completely under the radar without a careful eye; even then, countless bands put out records year after year just to make music. It’s these bands, these unknown, dedicated musicians, who embody the world of today’s greatest source of quality music. Therein lies the paradox, however; today’s quality material is often scarce; before finding anything worth listening to, one must either wade through countless hours of terrible material or rely upon the misfortune (and fortune) of other’s searches. Enochian Crescent are a band much like this; relatively low key, they have been putting out albums for nigh upon a decade and half, yet their fan-base remains small. Hailing from the cold nether regions of Finland, their recent effort Black Church brings nothing new to the table; however, what they do, they do extremely well.

Tragically, many black metal albums, unknown and well known, find themselves plagued (or deliberately afflicted) with bad production, making such intricate melodies virtually impossible to hear. Black Church’s production is crystal clear as far as black metal is concerned; nothing is buried in a wall of fuzz and distortion; all the harmonies, the melodies, the solos, the chants; everything can be heard without strain of ear. This especially helps the instrumental work, because while not overly technically savvy, the musicians do play their hearts out, putting forth a fine showing of black metal heaviness.

Your average black metaller is content to design a song fairly simply, revolving on a few simple tremolo picked riffs; not so with Enochian Crescent. Purveying the entire album are countless twists and turns; each song has its own identity, filled to the brim with varying riffs. In the vein of bands like Dissection, however, Enochian Crescent throw in a great deal of melody along with their in-your-face style. Not only this, but the variance in tempos used by these Finns is unusual; several acoustic melodies are scattered around, and the rare (but it’s definitely there) solo bass part can be heard. Take heed; Enochian Crescent do not try to cram as many riffs and melodies into one song as they possibly can (a la The Incurable Tragedy); each riff is exactly where it should be. Nothing feels out of place or forced, and everything works with its predecessors and followers flawlessly. The rhythm section finds themselves, sadly, doing nothing especially fantastic, being amiable with staying in the background.

While the instrumentalists are putting forth a splendid show, one of Enochian Crescent’s true strengths lays in their deceptively catchy vocal department. Ranging from your prototypical wail to deeper grunts to chants to band choruses; almost everything you can think of aside from death grunts are included on Black Church. The way the vocals stand out, however, is their deceptive, infectious tendencies. While at first some of the tones and voices utilized may be a little harsh on the ear (in the untrained sense), Enochian Crescent makes up for it by presenting these techniques in a strangely catch manner. While it is not uncommon for a black metal band to use chants or choruses, it is unusual for these elements to be appealing. If you don’t find yourself chanting along to the chorus of Hendekagrammaton by the end of the song, there’s something wrong with you. Due to the harsher presentation of these vocals, the catchy parts not only come off as fun, but also somewhat creepy. Unfortunately, the lyrical topics of these parts range from mediocre to laughably awful. However, if the listener doesn’t mind the typical satanic and occultist topics, the vocal department is a strange yet rare gem in the black metal scene.

The black metal scene, with three alleged “waves” and countless bands hailing from all over the world, has seen (and is facing) harsh times. As it is with many genres, at the beginning, many were attempting to innovate; by now, the genre has been filled with an absurd number of ostentatious failures and flops. The difference here is that many of the works that deserve to be heard, in actuality, only get heard just as much as the releases that don’t. Bands copy each other and repeat material in black metal (most likely) in more than any other genre. The intellectual would think that perhaps, after so much repetition and monotony, that most bands would not be content to just pump out the same album over and over. Alas, that is not the case, and is in fact one of Black Church’s primary downfalls: excellent presentation combined with failed originality. Lasting just over half an hour, Black Church doesn’t exactly stand out as far as black metal is concerned. Well worth the time spent; even if found to be unpleasant, it’s over before you know it, which may be the saddest aspect of them all.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Essence
December 31st 2008


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=mymonolithdeathcultreview][quote=bastard]and Old Hickory pushes out a full 7 reviews this year, as apposed to the 6 we expected from him.



nice work.
[/quote]

[quote=me]
See now if I post another review I'll quote that post and you'll look like a jackass.[/quote]

[quote=bastard]
bet you won't, at least by the end of the year[/quote][/quote]



Joe D. 9 reviews

This Message Edited On 12.31.08

Hawks
December 31st 2008


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Zippermouth
December 31st 2008


1305 Comments


...and so the battle rages on

BallsToTheWall
December 31st 2008


44314 Comments


Good review. Good B.M from Finland? I'm flabbergasted but will cap it.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

Wizard
December 31st 2008


19395 Comments


bastard got served!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha


Great review, love the writing style (very flowy and easy to read and butter..............sorry, slipped out).


Gonna go find me some BLACK CHURCH.This Message Edited On 12.31.08

Digging: Katatonia - Night Is the New Day

fireaboveicebelow
December 31st 2008


6837 Comments


this looks yummy, you're getting better and better btw

Wizard
December 31st 2008


19395 Comments


Ok, the vox are so fucking ridiculously bad hahahaha. Music is good.

EDIT: Ok, are these vocals a joke Mr.Jack? This Message Edited On 12.31.08

bastard
December 31st 2008


3435 Comments


i already apologized on the last review jack, gosh.

Essence
December 31st 2008


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The vox are hard to get used to, but as far as screeching goes they are pretty standard fair. I suppose I am fairly lenient when it comes to vocal styles; it has to be annoying just so to get to me.


This will provide the warrant for when I get around to my negative Controller review.This Message Edited On 12.31.08

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2008


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely getting this.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Wizard
December 31st 2008


19395 Comments


This will provide the warrant for when I get around to my negative Controller review.


I can't wait.


bastard
December 31st 2008


3435 Comments


me neither

although I am just waiting because of the controversy, because I like that album.

Essence
December 31st 2008


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

God his vocals are so boring. ''HEI GUISE WHAT IF I DID AVERAGE METALCORE VOCALS BUT THEN LAYERED THEM TO MAKE THSEM SOUND HEAVY''

Wizard
December 31st 2008


19395 Comments


although I am just waiting because of the controversy, because I like that album.


Listen to Of Malice and the Magnum Heart and you will think otherwise.

''HEI GUISE WHAT IF I DID AVERAGE METALCORE VOCALS BUT THEN LAYERED THEM TO MAKE THSEM SOUND HEAVY''


I enjoyed the vocals (I think it was their old vocalist) on their first album. Karl didn't bring anything new to the table.



Essence
December 31st 2008


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And then the instrumentation backing him is supposed to be interesting but I just get so bored; it sounds like most other metalcore bands. Their instrumental track is supposed to be relaxing but to me it just comes off as unnecessary and overbearing.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2008


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great, a cool mix of strange riffs, pretty impressive melodies and unique vocals. Despite being the shortest song, "Ghost Of Saturn" is definitely one of the best two minute pieces of music I've heard.

BallsToTheWall
December 31st 2008


44314 Comments


Negative Controller review? You have unleashed the fury of balls.

Essence
December 31st 2008


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry Balls. If it helps, I love love love Botch.

rasputin
December 31st 2008


14544 Comments


Good review. I won't bother checking this out because I'm far too elite.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2008


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rasptuin I hope you're kidding because you would probably enjoy this.



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