Enshine
Singularity


4.5
superb

Review

by AlphaBetaFoxface USER (16 Reviews)
October 23rd, 2015 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Space metal never sounded so good.

Enshine seemingly only had one goal in writing 'Singularity', and while the summation of that goal might seem like something most musicians aim for, only few are able to focus on that goal for the entire duration of the recording process. Enshine simply wanted to write a great album. And by the gods did they succeed. Not only is this one of the most concise melodic-death metal records of recent times, but is one of the most coherent records of the year, regardless of genre. And while this is not the be-all-and-end-all of the genre, it certainly shows how complexity is not always required to write something extraordinary. This record sounds gorgeous.

Opening tracks are always risky. An artist has to be able to encapsulate their sound immediately, while also providing foreshadowing of the feel of the rest of the album to come. Combining outer-space atmospherics with melodic-death metal isn't something that has seen too much experimentation, but Enshine absolutely nail it in just the opening minute of 'Dual Existence'. Synths create an extra-terrestrial atmosphere before the track dives into a breakdown one could only describe as beautiful. Aside from the joyous breakdown from the third track of Cloudkicker's 'Subsume', this was the first time I had ever heard a breakdown capable of evoking awe. The track proceeds to dip and rise between verses, alternating between pummeling choruses, and gentler verses. It is a wonderful opening that presents Enshine's sound perfectly.

The following track, 'Adrift', is one of the shorter songs on the album, but also serves as one of the best examples of the space theme that 'Singularity' so strongly embraces. The synths are eerie and the instrumentation is laden with reverb. In contrast, the arguably heaviest track on the album follows after. 'Resurgence' pummels out riff after riff before dropping into atmospherics, and then rising again for an extremely exciting ending. 'In Our Mind', 'Astrarium, Part 2', and 'Echoes', all focus more on the melodic side rather than the death side seen in 'Resurgence', making for a fantastic change of pace. 'Dreamtide' picks up where 'Resurgence' left off, however, and propels the album forward for the final tracks. 'The Final Trance', one of the album highlights, is a culmination of everything heard thus far, and is absolutely marvelous to behold. The album ends on a strong note with 'Apex', and while 'The Final Trance' would have been a more suitable ending, it is still a brilliant track that holds true to the core values of atmospheric, melodic-death metal.

The instrumentation on 'Singularity' is spectacular. The drum work must be commended as every rhythm suits it's placement flawlessly. The guitar work is brilliant at creating a spacey feel while also being littered with brilliant riffs. And while many riffs are repeated for more bars than is conventional, the aid of the synths allows for every repetition to sound fuller, larger, and more enjoyable than the last. It is with great confidence that I say this is the best synth work metal has witnessed all year. It sells space with ease, and without becoming pretentious or even cheesy once during the duration of the record.

'Singularity's production is stellar. The kit is punchy, yet natural. The cymbals are bright, and the kick sounds very solid. Guitar tones are brilliant, and have been mixed into the album very well. The vocals stand at the front of the mix without being overly loud. Most importantly, however, the synths have been mixed into the record brilliantly. They provide the needed push to create a wall-of-sound, as well as jelling in well with the quieter parts of the tracks. While the dynamic range is not overly impressive, there is definitely a good contrast between the louder and softer sections of tracks. Breakdowns and choruses sound energetic and powerful, verses and intros are spacey and soft. 'Singularity' is a very good-sounding record.

With such a gushy review, there must be a catch. Thankfully, the only negative on this record is a minor complaint at that, and is more subjective than anything else. The vocal dynamics are almost non-existent. Growls range from low to lower. While the clean vocals are gorgeous to listen to, they barely cover ranges larger than an octave. But for such a straight-forward album, these vocal choices can be seen as a positive, but they might deter those who want something a little more complex. However, this album was not intended for a technical audience. It is simply a great record, and it nails the theme of space like very few have ever done before. It is enjoyable from beginning to end, and should not go unnoticed. 'Singularity' is as of now, the best melodic-death metal album of the year.



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3.9
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A cosmic swell from whence a star of musicianship is born....


Comments:Add a Comment 
AlphaBetaFoxface
October 23rd 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Loving this record. Been a good week for metal, Panopticon, Enshine, Kauan... yum. Let me know what you guys think! Give it a couple of listens, I found it became more and more intriguing upon repeated plays. Definitely a personal contender for AOTY! Thanks for checking out my review!

Dmax28
October 23rd 2015


749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sell this album, it really needs more listeners. :P Nice Review.

I really like the album. This chill ultra melodic powerful stuff gels with me. I've listened to it several times. Highly enjoyable and just the kind of album I am very happy to find.



Maybe this just isn't their thing, but I thought it could have been improved with some more commitment to the riffing, edgy side of things for contrast.

The album is glorious and gigantic sounding and the space theme feels natural and complete.



The best parts for me are the melodic guitar lines often near the ends of tracks. So tasty.





AlphaBetaFoxface
October 23rd 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The second half of the album has some ridiculously good riffs. When comparing to other melo-death bands of recent times such as Swallow The Sun or Katatonia, there is still quite the abundance. Definitely nothing to contend with the likes of Dark Tranquillity or older In Flames, but when paired with crazy good atmospherics, they do have more than enough imo. But I see what you are saying! And yeah, these guys love to ramp things up towards the end of the tracks! Thanks for dropping by dude, I appreciate the kind words

PortalofPerfection
October 23rd 2015


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, good read.



I'm pretty obsessed with this right now. Really not a dull moment on here. In Our Minds is sublime and Final Trance kicks so much ass.

TzarChasm
October 23rd 2015


279 Comments


This album is so, so, so, so, SO goddamned awesome! I loved Origin but was let down by its production. Not only is the recording quality significantly improved here, but the entire album is consistently better than its predecessor. This is top-of-the-genre atmospheric metal, and it's definitely on my Top 10 of 2015 list.

Honestly, Singularity is so good that it's enough to leave me spinning "Downfall" without even missing Slumber.

ComeToDaddy
October 23rd 2015


1814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review overall, pos'd. Made me pretty excited to give it a spin, sounds right up my alley.



One small note, as someone who hasn't heard the album yet I'm not really sure what I'm getting into. You talk about melodic death metal, but have a recommended section containing djent and atmospheric bm, while namedropping Cloudkicker in the review. It'd be a good idea to remove the Cloudkicker note altogether because it feels unnecessary, and maybe tone down the phrase repetition (you say melodic death metal 6 times in the first 3 paragraphs)

AlphaBetaFoxface
October 23rd 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

PortalofPerfection - Album rules way too hard.



TzarChasm - Definitely a step up from Origin. I loved it too, but Enshine really outdid themselves!



ComeToDaddy - Awesome! Hope you enjoy it! I felt the record on the whole was more driven by spacey atmospheres than actual melodic-death metal. It was very comparable to wall-of-sound approaches that the bands I listed like to follow! I see what you are saying though. I will likely give the artist section a tweak. Got a bit trigger-happy with my phrasing!



Jacquibim - Awesome! This is definitely a progression so you should enjoy it!

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2015


25445 Comments


this is pretty cool

Digging: Katie Pruitt - Expectations

teamster
October 23rd 2015


4604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its fucking Jari Lindholm...one of the best artists, musicians on the planet. Also, check out Sebastien Pierre's other group he is a part of, Fractal Gates...my favorite melodic death metal band. Thanks for the review.

Digging: Oh Hiroshima - Oscillation

bloc
October 23rd 2015


59629 Comments


Solid ass album. There's not much variance, but they have a good thing going so I don't mind it as much.

Digging: Sewerslvt - Draining Love Story

PortalofPerfection
October 24th 2015


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

After a few more listens, I must reiterate. Final Trance...holy fuck...

AlphaBetaFoxface
October 24th 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Final Trance and Resurgence are some of the best songs released all year imo



Shogun
October 24th 2015


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is gorgeous, it practically shimmers.



Potential AOTY for me.

Beardog
October 24th 2015


3260 Comments


This sounds great!

Shogun
October 24th 2015


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really adored Origin but this sounds much more dynamic and fleshed out. Everything just sounds so much more bigger here. Its a brilliant followup.



I definitely agree with 'best melodic-death metal album of the year' sentiments.

PortalofPerfection
October 24th 2015


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Origin has a few moments that are tough for this to top but this has better songwriting and much more interesting guitar work overall.

AlphaBetaFoxface
October 25th 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Origin has it's moments of beauty, but this retains the awesome for the whole record. While it is yet to bypass the epic that is Wilderun's latest, I can see myself spinning this in years to come

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2015


25445 Comments


band kinda reminds me of insomnium

PortalofPerfection
October 27th 2015


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^^^Definitely has that vibe.

Dabaens
October 27th 2015


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great album, great review.



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