Enslavement of Beauty
Mere Contemplations


3.5
great

Review

by Adrian USER (22 Reviews)
July 19th, 2011 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your typical symphonic black metal album, except 100 times catchier.

Mere Contemplations is Enslavement of Beauty’s latest studio album, released four years ago in 2007. Their lyrics are somewhat erotic, which is nothing that hasn’t been seen before by bands like Cradle of Filth or Black Countess, with the exception that they are much more poetic and influenced by Marquis de Sade and Edgar Allan Poe. Quite frankly, the music fits the lyrics and vice-versa. Enslavement of beauty have released a total of three studio albums, but are relatively unknown and have also left a very long gap between their second and third albums.

Mere Contemplations is nothing revolutionary in the world of symphonic black metal, and even music itself. Their songs have typical structures of verses and choruses and their lengths are also average (about 4 minutes each). Let’s not get started talking about the instruments and elements in the album, because they are nothing to write home about. Mere contemplations has raspy –high pitched male vocals, typical female chants used from time to time, lots of keyboards and a guitar to drive the band. Its pretty much your run of the mill in symphonic black metal these days.

After noticing the lack of variety and innovation in structure, length and instruments, what makes Mere Contemplations stand out from the thousands of bands playing similar genres out there? The melody and catchiness of course. They save the day after mish mashing what is almost the expected for symphonic black metal. The keyboards are the saving grace, guiding the tracks together with the guitars, sometimes even overpowering them. Their atmosphere ranges from melancholic to beautiful, and really makes the album much more worthwhile. Every song has them, and are a complete necessity here, giving a much needed life and atmosphere to the songs.

The album is mid-paced, a rarity in the genre though. There are not blast beats to be found, as they would detract from the enjoyable melodies played by the keyboards. The guitar is fairly repetitive, playing in the same tone at all times (unlike the keyboards), but combines in an excellent manner with the keyboards. The vocals are fairly easy to understand, which is a definitive plus since the whole point of the album is to flow like a poem. They are distracting either, kept below guitars and keyboards like they should.

Lack of innovation is also present in other aspects, most importantly the song-writing. There is little variety to be found, except some in some recordings, shifting from guitars to keyboards and sine being heavier. In addition, the classic song structure also drags the album down so much. Many riffs are extremely memorable, but the lack new ones with equal level of quality is surely a missed opportunity. On the other hand. Mere Comtemplations isn’t too repetitive either, it can still be listened and some variety is present. The main highlights are the extremely captivating nature of the songs, so much more than other bands. Enslavement of beauty are aiming at melody much more than atmosphere or heaviness. They have a promising catalog of albums but they still need something to make them truly stand out.

Perhaps if they combined some of the atmosphere present in their first release, and mingled some more with progressive elements and longer tracks, their next release would be much more enjoyable. I really think longer tunes can give the band more space to play around with their techniques, without using the typical chorus-verse structure. It is also worth saying that if they added more layers of synthesizers and keyboards they could achieve a sound they would be proud of by improving their already special symphonies. If there is a bass present, it isn’t heard much, or even needed, since the keyboards basically take over that role of giving the rhythm.

Overall the band has done a good job with Mere Contemplations, their output has all of the elements your average symphonic black metal band has, but so much more enjoyable. It is surely one of the most melodic and beautiful extreme metal albums out there. What Enslavement of Beauty needs to do is grow even further on their strengths, while improving songwriting, and perhaps adding classical instruments. The repetitive nature of the riffs will always be present in symphonic black metal, but they need to have a purpose, as well as progression.



Recent reviews by this author
Limbonic Art PhantasmagoriaGraveworm Fragments of Death
Darzamat In the Flames of Black ArtAgathodaimon Phoenix
Chthonic Takasago ArmySinful Omyt
user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2011


7127 Comments


Tell me you have a link of some sort? Youtube or otherwise, let's give this a spin.

darkwargreymon
July 20th 2011


188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes I do, Here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u21Jd2TLGs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgMhrCGTgm4&feature=related

What did you think of the review? Its been some weeks since my last.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2011


7127 Comments


Straight forward and solid. You have your 'good's' and 'bad's' reinforced by example and detail. Could use some "tracks" to reinforce your points also, but this style seems to work pretty good for you. Pos'd. On a side note, you use the word song pretty often. Just a niggle but try to throw in tracks, recording etc. Nothing to worry about though lol.

darkwargreymon
July 20th 2011


188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fixed the song a little. I tried so much not to repeat a word too much, but forgot on how much I used song. Thanks for the feedback. I only bring tracks up if they can back up anything I say, but there was nothing that stood out. But adding tracks doesn't really mean anything if the reader doesn't know them, and this band is pretty underground.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2011


7127 Comments


It helps if the reader wants to check your reinforcement or descriptions, or if you mention that it's (in your opinion) one of the highlights of the album and acts as a starting point if they want to look the album up.

I tried so much not to repeat a word too much

You'll find i do this with listener and listeners'

and this band is pretty underground.

yeah ,That does make it harder for readers to research tracks.

darkwargreymon
July 20th 2011


188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll try that on my next review. I am a bit tired right now, I had one of my wisdom teeth removed. I can't eat anything and can;t do much, so a lot of time for metal and reviewing I guess.

darkwargreymon
July 20th 2011


188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It was so painful to recommend albums, no one sounds like this band. How did you like the tracks I recommended, by the way?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2011


7127 Comments


The first one better than the second. Sounds like a band that needs some getting used to.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy