Before I get into this review proper, I just want to say that I can be turned off or on to an album by its artwork, and I totally dug Enthean’s debut album cover as soon as I saw it. I mean, look how gloriously apocalyptic that is? Its like if you crossed ‘From Beyond’, ‘Non Serviam’ and ‘Failures for Gods’ into one epic piece! South Carolinians Enthean’s debut record ‘Priests of Annihilation’ is out 20th May through their bandcamp.
Opener ‘1064’ is a pretty good example of what Enthean’s sound is like. They are grandiose, progressive black metallers, with more than a nod in places to the symphonic elements of Dimmu Borgir, but with a much more savage streak in them. Their guitar work is razor sharp, and at times their black metal is quite Immortal-esque. They have some nice technical moments, like in the spiralling ‘Before You, I Am’ or the fretwork fireworks of ‘Dysthnasia, where you’re left in awe of the musicianship on display.
At times, Enthean feel almost like tech death, if it wasn’t for the pervasisve black metal atmosphere that seeps into each track. ‘Ekpyrosis’ is a particularly death metal track, with a nasty vocal performance. For a debut record, ‘Priests of Annihilation’ is remarkably mature, well written and the production is great. The ferocious ‘Behold the Primordial’ is probably my favourite track on a record that never fails to amaze with its musical superiority. Enthean need to be watched, because this record is the future of extreme metal in all its forms. Stunning.