Review Summary: Post-sludge progfest.
Released in January 2021, “Another Green Drought” is the debut studio album by Norwegian progressive sludge/post-metal band Enrapture. From the very first track, it is clear we have a trio of skilled musicians who play as a tight unit and display a high level of confidence in their musicianship. The material has a progressive structure and showcases a sophisticated approach to songwriting by displaying continual variances in chord progression, riff structure, tempo and time signature with rhythmically complex arrangements throughout. In addition, we see an abandonment of the traditional verse/chorus method in favour of a through-composed structure.
The opener “Badlands” wastes no time and instantly pummels the listener with a healthy dose of powerful, crunchy riffs and aggressive, technical drumming accompanied by harsh screamed vocals. This sets the tone for the whole album but there are moments of respite here and there in the form of more atmospheric sections with clean vocals, some of which touch lightly on psychedelic music. The penultimate track “Groundswells” is a standout track boasting riff after riff of killer sludge before building into an atmospheric epic.
The album is of a consistent quality but my greatest joy comes from the successful juxtaposition of the brutally heavy side of metal and the mood-elevating qualities of post-rock music which does not always work for me. On this release, it is truly majestic and transports me between heaven and hell and sometimes to both simultaneously – the best example of this is showcased in “Floodwaters and the Desert” which features a dreamlike soundscape overlain with a mixture of harsh screaming, some clean vocals and delightful mix of heavy and uplifting lead guitar parts.
In conclusion, we are presented with a high quality and confident debut by Enrapture in a time when a plethora of bands are trying to project a similar sound. I feel Enrapute have done well to differentiate themselves somewhat from their peers and I am very much looking forward to hearing what they produce next.
Highly recommended to fans of Intronaut and Mastodon.