Review Summary: Moth's Illusion sees Enisum taking risks and adding new elements to their soundscapes.
Enisum started as one man project but released their first CD as band in 2014 (Samoht Nara). In 2017 they released their first CD through AvantgardeMusic, a label under which big names such as Saor, Selvans and Downfall of Nur are working with. Enisum’s breakthrough album came in 2015 with Arpitanian Lands, a record where they mostly expressed their love for the Alpes. Blending Atmospheric Black Metal with Folk and ethereal atmospheres, Enisum has forged a sound that is beautifully aggressive, with the help of Ephelin’s mystical voice. Seasons of Desolation, although improving in terms of composition, didn’t show too much evolution and saw Enisum release a safe, yet very good record. Needless to say, two years later, expectations are pretty high for their latest release, Moth’s Illusion.
If there is one sentence I will not write about this album, it's the one that says that they once again played it safe. Yes I just almost wrote it, I know, but it would be a lie. Enisum took the sound they were known for and perfected the melodies while trying to venture on new territories. The first thing that will strike you is the equal use of growls and screams. If you remember Obscure Depth from the previous album, you would know that Lys has very deep growls and when those are combined with the atmosphere created by the rest of the band, the general emotions are released tenfold. Now that Lys uses this combination on almost all songs, the general atmosphere of the album is much darker than it was before. The biggest leap of faith this band took was probably recording their first ever ballad. Moth’s Illusion is much slower and softer than what we were used to. Lys mostly uses his clean vocals on this songs and builds up momentum until he releases his signature screams towards the end. This song if one of the highest moments of this record not only because they went out of their comfort zone but also because of the quality of the composition. You can feel it moving towards the ending explosion and when it does, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction like you needed that to happen. Another great addition to their soundscape is the more constant use of calmer, softer parts in their composition. For example, on Last Wolf, the song goes softer with acoustic guitars and clean vocals before going back to their energetic and explosive blast beats.
If a song should be remembered on this record, it would probably Ballad of Musinè. It basically has all of the different sounds Enisum uses on this record. Starting on a calm acoustic atmosphere with clean vocals, it slowly builds up towards the saturated black metal parts with screams (and growls after the second part of the song). Another song with a similar structure would be A Forest Refuge, but as it comes after Ballad Of Musinè, it doesn’t have that element of surprise the previous one had, although this doesn’t change the quality of the song. Other memorable moments could be Lys's clean vocal on Petrichor, as it is the first song to feature only clean vocals. The only song that could have been written for other records would be Anethtized Emotions, altough the melodies on this one are much more complicated and enjoyable than they were before.
In general, this record is a great addition to their discography. Unlike Seasons of Desolation, this showed great improvements and saw Enisum taking big risks by adding new sounds and experimenting new techniques. The only disappointment one could have is the lack of Ephelin’s mystical voice. Only present on the closer Burned Valley, we tend to miss them on other tracks like we were used to on previous records. Burned Valley is also a great example of experimentation, with the use of keyboards to add an epic element to the song before Lys’s screams with an effect that multiplies the feeling of pain and sadness of seeing a valley burning down. Moth’s Illusion just came out, and if they keep their pace of releasing albums every two years, I can’t wait for 2021 for another epic release.