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Einfall > The Art to Enslave > Reviews
Einfall - The Art to Enslave

The Follow Up to "The Age of Nero" - 75%

TheStormIRide, October 30th, 2012

Russia is the largest country in the world with its total area being over six and a half million square miles and the total population is over one hundred and forty million. Norway, on the other hand, is about one hundred and fifty thousand square miles with a population of around five million. With a little simple math, you find out that Norway could fit into Russian over forty-three times. You also find out that Russia's population is twenty eight times larger than that of Norway. I did not accidentally leave that introduction in my text editor from a research project: I assure you there is a point. Let's start making our way to it, shall we?

Einfall was a black metal band hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Saint Petersburg has a population of four million eight hundred thousand (very close to Norway's population). I know, I know, I'm back to demographics, but we're moving on. As far as I can tell, Einfall has no connection to Norway, aside from playing a genre made famous by Norwegians. So why am I even talking about these correlations between Russia and Norway? By emphasizing how vast and populous Russia is compared to Norway, you can see how it's possible that a clone of a Norwegian band could have been born in the vast reaches of Russia.

I just could not put my finger on it for the first few listens of “The Art to Enslave”. I knew that Einfall sounded like another band, but it just kept slipping past my ears. The music maintains a fairly middle of the road pace throughout the release. The guitars favor groove laden riffing rather than trem picking and dense atmospheric constructions. The drums pretty much blast through the album with a double bass attack and rolling tom fest that only sparingly relents when the band goes into doomier territories. All of the sudden, it hit me: Frost and Satyr had moved to Russia. Satyricon's follow up to 2008's “The Age of Nero” is actually Einfall's “The Art to Enslave”.

If you've ever listened to Satyricon's later day work (“The Age of Nero” and “Now, Diabolical”) then you know exactly what to expect. Einfall's music is so alarmingly similar to theirs that it's hard to believe that it's a different band. To the uninitiated, it's mid paced, groove laden black metal with heavier, almost punk influenced riffing, rather than trem picking. Einfall does throw in their own nuances and flair, helping them stand apart to some regard, but the similarities remain. One thing that can be said about Einfall is that they actually created a listenable and enjoyable album. Many say that Satyricon got themselves into a rut with their current style, but Einfall's “The Art to Enslave” shows there is room to grow.

The guitar work, as stated, is more of a groove laden affair. The tone is crisp and sharp with moderate distortion. The guitarists have a knack for writing catchy riffs that still have an extremely heavy edge to them. There are times where melodic extrapolations are utilized and played under a strong power chord, but these seem to emphasize the heavier, groove riffs rather than adding actual melodious moments. The groove laden riffs sound heavily influenced by punk or even death 'n' roll: they're catchy and have a tendency to get stuck in your head. The guitars do slow down to doom like tempos at times, notably at the beginning of “The Lost Essence”, but still retain a certain catchiness; it's just slower.

The bass plods along with chugging lines accentuating the guitar lines. There is nothing spectacular about the bass, other than the fact that it is clearly audible throughout this entire album. The other half of the rhythm section is where “The Art to Enslave” really stands out. There are two distinct drumming styles present, which when described, sound fairly similar. The first, and most commonly utilized, style is a fast double bass rhythm with rolling toms and minimal cymbal work. The second style is a fast double bass rhythm with meandering cymbal work and minimal tom work. The drummer throws in some excellent rolls and fills to keep the drums from becoming too overbearing. The drums do slow down to more a double kick style, and this is usually when the guitars go into a slower, more melodic approach, but most of the doomy sections see the double bass still blaring away in the background. The drums never do go into blast beat territory, though.

The vocals are black metal vocals. There should be no question about that. Rather than anguished squeals and screams, the vocalist opts for more of a throaty, angry delivery. The vocals are deeper than average, but by no means do they broach death metal territory. The delivery reminds me of a black metal singer doing a metalcore album. I know how that looks in writing, but it sounds better than it looks. The base delivery is black metal, but the way the singer trails off at the end of lines and words sounds similar to mid nineties metalcore bands like FewLeftStanding and SkyCamefalling. Thankfully, aside from the breakdown during “Sacred Legacy”, the metalcore influence stays away.

While this release is enjoyable, it does get very repetitive. The mid paced black metal with unrelenting drums and groove laden riffs goes from start to end. Granted, “The Art to Enslave” is only thirty-five minutes long. There just isn't much variety here. Einfall is good at making accessible, mid paced black metal, but a little diversity would not be amiss. Hell, I think the same thing has been said about Satyricon's last few albums. “The Art to Enslave” is a good listen, it just blends together after a while.

All in all, Einfall's “The Art to Enslave” can be seen as the true successor to “The Age of Nero”. Groove laden black metal with a slight doom influence. If you dig later day Satyricon, then you will dig Russia's cloned version of them. It's too bad Einfall broke up, because they showed Satyricon up at their own game. Recommended to black metal fans not afraid of outside influence and to standard metal fans looking for a somewhat accessible black metal album.