Review Summary: Highly melodic and full of brisk ambient soundscapes, Origin is a charming piece of atmospheric metal.
Upon learning who are behind Enshine, I was already able to picture the band’s sound prior to hearing it. While one could typically make the case that being so predictable is a negative thing, it doesn’t apply here. The brainchild of Jari Lindholm (ex-Slumber and Atoma), Enshine sounds almost exactly like a crossbreed between his old projects and vocalist Sebastien Pierre’s melodic death metal band Fractal Gates. What that means, though, is that Enshine features the gripping melodies of Fractal Gates inside a less contrived and more atmospheric metal package reminiscent of Atoma. Even though I do think Fractal Gates are one of the better pureblooded melodeath acts around, the melodies on Origin
are given more space to breathe and develop than on the aforementioned band’s latest record. There are no genre constraints here and although the song lengths are quite moderate, the tracks and melodies themselves flow right into one-another, forming a more-than-cohesive whole. While Fractal Gates’ latest album (released earlier this year) relied on individual standout melodies and riffs, Origin
’s strength lies in its wholeness and in the finesse of its compositions.
starts off with "Stream of Light," which nicely sets the tone for the rest of the album. Rumbling bass-lines and melodic, mid-paced riffs lead into an ambient section that simultaneously both soothes and builds into an all-encompassing wall of sound. That is more or less how the whole album works during its 43 minute run-time: tasteful melodic riffs and leadwork are coupled with soothing ambience that can, at any given time, explode into an imposing wall of sound. This combination works wonders, as Origin
’s sound is both familiar and enthralling. The atmosphere of the record is very alluring and instantly likable. It’s not upbeat, it’s not calm, it’s not particularly dark and it’s not depressive either; it simply strives to carry the listener to a meditative state. The record is being promoted with the tagline "A musical exploration of the world within," and in correspondence with it, Origin
indeed predisposes the listener to look inside. It’s great thinking music, and fits best with those cool, silent nights when you can clearly see the stars in the sky as they shine their light down upon you.
Above all else, there is an aura of freedom surrounding this album which makes it an utterly pleasant listen. It would be criminally unfair to say that the record is light, especially with Pierre lending his deep, growled vocals, but at the same time, it does have a facilitative, liberating effect, even if some of the parts in the sum give off a somber vibe. The guitar work on Origin
has a hypnotizing quality to it and, as it is pierced together with a supremely airy atmosphere, has the ability to carry the listener away. Origin
is food for the brain metal music that shines only when given full attention to, and it needs to be heard and "felt" in order to be fully understood. Furthermore, the great thing about it is that, when you have given the record your full attention, it will reward you... by letting go of that attention and allowing your mind to wander off under the spell of Origin
’s melodies. Musically potent and intellectually stimulating, Enshine’s debut album is a real treat for the thinking man.