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Basically the only reason I'm here is that I heard Enter Chaos being compared to Arch Enemy in a very positive light, so I thought their stuff might be worth a listen. I was warned that they had released one great album and one mediocre one though, and from the reviews at the time of writing (one for each album), this is the mediocre one. Still, better to start at the beginning and see what happens, so I'm just going to pretend I'm expecting great things.
The very first thing that must be mentioned is that - believe it or not - this is a female fronted band. That's most likely the thing that draws comparisons to Arch Enemy, as is the case with absolutely any melodic death metal band with a female vocalist, no matter what style of melodeath the band plays. But anyway, if we ignore that fact, you really will have a hard time believing this is a woman. Everyone always says that about Angela Gossow (although compared to the likes of Polina Psycheya she sounds relatively feminine), but this is just another level altogether. The growls actually aren't done that badly, but it just doesn't sound like a woman at all.
Another interesting aspect of the band is that they have four guitarists rather than the traditional two. In theory this should be a very good thing and mean that the music has an extra field to it that should add to the interest, but Enter Chaos don't actually do anything amazing with this idea. The music sounds very flat and has a tendency to become boring. When things are thrown in to spice it up it does occasionally sound good, but more often the result is what seems to be a mesh of noise. None of the guitarists have their own style either, and it becomes impossible to tell one from another. Maybe in hindsight four guitars all vying for attention is not such a great idea. There are also three bassists, but not one of them can be heard clearly. To be honest that's probably for the best seeing as it would just add to the loudness war going on within the band.
As for the drumming (and you'll be glad to know that the band only has one drummer), it's got to try and compete with the four guitars and as a result has been placed near the front of the mix. The guy doesn't do anything exciting and a large part of his work involves hitting everything as fast as he possibly can, and it just adds to the wall of noise that already exists. I've had problems with bands doing this before, and I'd rather it was at least buried somewhat behind the four guitars that are meant to make most of the noise. instead it's there as a constant nagging pain in your head as you try and work out which of the guitars is being played by which member of the band.
Every now and again one of the melodic leads that are meant to be the key to success in this genre actually does work, but for the most part it just sounds like someone's hit the wrong note and attempted to make it seem intentional (and failed... badly). That's pretty much what the whole of the title-track Dreamworker is, just a mix of out-of-tune and out-of-place chords. Even the cover of Cold by At the Gates somehow went wrong and just ended up sounding bad.
So... yeah. This is definitely a bad album, and it doesn't fill me with confidence about Enter Chaos and their abilities. Hopefully their next album is indeed a great one, because this certainly merits the tag of mediocre. It's sad that there are so many bad Gothenburg acts among the good ones, but that's the nature of the business. There are some gems, but a crap-load of ordinary stones.
I’ve been listening to melodic death metal since my ears first had a fixation for heavy music, and I think the genre is joyful in many areas. We have bands that progress from wherever they start and get better over time, but the Gothenburg universe also holds those who don’t do anything important all, simply because they think repetition and dull song writing will get them places. I recently got Enter Chaos’ “Dreamworker,” and was expecting some high-caliber melodic death considering this is a band with many experienced musicians, yet it still lacks anything that makes Gothenburg an enjoyable genre. Why? Well, because it represents everything that tarnishes the melodic death metal scene: terrible instrumentation, bad production, constant repetition, and no independent qualities at all.
Infecting Enter Chaos’ poor debut is the band’s tendency to play generic Gothenburg, meaning their songs are predictable and contain no substance whatsoever. Enter Chaos’ idea of a good song follows this pattern: start with a half-assed melodic riff, begin drumming, blastbeat section, solo, and repeat until end. I expect a full-blown slaughter of rapid tremolo picking, powerful melodic riffs, wonderful growls, and blazing solos when I think of good Gothenburg, but here’s the issue: Enter Chaos hardly does of any of these things right! Sure they tremolo pick and solo, but it all sounds so simple and generic; it’s seriously like they’re some piss-poor At The Gates cover band without any individualism at all. They might find this shit acceptable, but anyone who buys this will be wishing for their money back after experiencing this poop for themselves.
What’s worse than hearing this CD? How about trying to decipher this CD’s production that presents itself as a wall of noise with the band members killing their dignity in the background, that’s what! Yes, “Dreamworker” has one of the worst production jobs you’ll hear on a full-length album, and definitely one of the worst mastering jobs I’ve ever witnessed. The guitars seriously sound like a wave of random noise with fading volume, whilst the solos are way too loud and come off as chalkboard-scratching annoying. On the other side of the spectrum is the deafening (literally) percussion, the invisible bass, and the dirty voice effects. You can’t even tell the vocals were done by a female because the production sounds so muddy and rushed; it’s very aggravating and certainly a very annoying mistake that could have been easily avoided.
“Dreamworker” is quite the generic melodic death worship you’d find anywhere else, which is somewhat sad considering the band’s powerful origin. I thought Enter Chaos had potential, but there are far too many similarities with many other Gothenburg groups here; it’s quite amusing to notice all the generic characteristics they have, minus the originality factor. Avoid this junk and buy yourself something you’ll actually want to hear again.