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Ennui > The Last Way > Reviews
Ennui - The Last Way

The last way of Ennui - 91%

Stigmath, March 15th, 2014

After the dawn of black sun, Georgian masters of eternal grief and sorrow in music are back with their second full-length “The Last Way”. While the new one roughly has a shorter timeline (by two minutes, indeed) than their debut work “Mze Ukunisa”, it, however, represents so much deeper fearful and emotionally very dark atmosphere. The sense of time may simply vanish and nothing but eternal depression will devour you, becoming your only friend (or foe).

Compared with a number of colleagues in genre, the duo has demonstrated a very good quality of production on their first release, and yet they do here a very good job of surprising the listener, pushing the threshold even higher. The crystalline, unstained and powerful guitar lines are the main key to the beyond in their interpretation. It is worth mentioning that technically, guys are out-of-reach by the mortal guitar players, especially in the doom metal genre. The guitar riffs are solid enough to hold the six feet of soil above and abundant soloing is so grievously beautiful that overall fear ignited by steady atmosphere of the album gives the listener only minutes of illusionary liberation from that burden of time, from the inevitability of the upcoming passage to the other world. Layered distorted guitar parts, charming clean tone and various arpeggio figures along with immaculate soloing creates the avant-garde in the music of Ennui, capable of crushing the most captious listener. A separate laud must be paid to the style of soloing that lies between the realms of guitar virtuoso and harmonized melodic doom/death style, well established in the mid-1990s. Important fact, sending us again to the latter is the overall loudness of the record, being in between the moderately loud and silent.

The one may pick up the Evoken’s brooding (“among the mist”, so to say) style and mix it up with a touch of Esoteric’s atmospheric key-features, and will be substantially right in setting the references here, but of course with certain stipulations around the final conclusion. First, Ennui uses no keyboards at all. Everything created on the album contains only very well recorded guitars, bass and vocals, with the only exception of drums, which were sampled electronically. This somehow makes the weakest point here since the dynamics from time to time lacks mobility, it is very straightforward and lacks the changes and actions that are easily accomplished by the “living” drummer. Drum patterns are complex enough by their structure and presented very lively (drum fills, in abundance) in their lines, but again the overall feeling pushes the experienced listener to the point that addition of the living drummer boldly will open new horizons.

Yes, the vocals are a separate instrument in Ennui’s arsenal. Being a very strong type of growling, David (the performer) creates a hissing, lightly low-pitched variation, occupying the neighbouring mid frequency range as the rhythm guitars do, creating a unique blend where both are complementing each other. Its “dry” and “in-the-face” character exerts the listener’s perception, causing numbness and depressive stupor, while singing the epitaph in Georgian, the most tragically sounding language I have personally ever heard... Indeed, rarely diluted with changes it is capable of hammering the thoughts into the dull, unpretentious hexagonal wooden box of depression, which is going to be nailed and sunken down into the damp earth.

Steadily increasing the load at the end, Ennui buries the listener in total of 77 minutes and 46 seconds lasting pure, guitar oriented funeral doom metal, full of despair, hateful sorrow and mortal grief. This music leaves nothing but a feeling of emptiness, so even the habitual admiration of the music’s beauty stinks with death, smells with wet soil and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. These things may, however, be pretty much personal, but definitely not fortuitous.

no soil for your grave - 90%

sofyamadness, December 25th, 2013

Talking about Georgia the first things to recur could be Orthodox Christianity and old churches, flavored vine, enigmatic landscapes or whatever, but by all means metal would be somewhere at the bottom of the list. But when we talk of Georgian extreme metal music, ENNUI – this young but powerful funeral doom duet – definitely must be on the first place. After all, it is amazing and inspirational, when you can find precious things in very unpredictable places, for instance to discover true funeral doom in the land of sun and polyphonic singing…

The second ENNUI album titled “The Last Way”, released via MFL Records (Moscow Funeral League) a year after the debut, is not an easy record in terms of perception. From the very first moments the listener, astonished by unpretentious yet disturbing opening could start thinking: “Is THIS really going to last 75 minutes?!” and - yes, it is.

Under the plane though stylish and promissory cover 75 minutes of inconsolable grief and sharp pain repose. Like any other masterpiece, this album is enough serious and complicated to be comprehended from the very first listening. With such records it usually happens like the first time you just get accustomed to the material, the second time you adapt, and only then, after having listened to the album for the third or fourth time, you enter the dark abyss of sorrow and sink in the ocean of woe. It requires a special state of mind and soul to get to the very depth of it. “The Last Way” is not the record for background listening, as it compels one to reflect upon grave issues as eternity, desolation and death as a completion. This earnest mood is firmly supported by the lyrics, which is all written in Georgian (thanks guys for the translations  ), and the language adds manifest mystery to the album in general.

One of the features, which makes the record as sophisticated as it truly is, – lack of keyboards, which were used in a masterly manner on the first album “Mze Ukunisa”. It is a challenging step to give up keyboards, since now the task of creating atmosphere and leading the listener falls mostly upon the guitar parts. Nevertheless the task was brilliantly fulfilled, and every song is embellished with appropriate riffs and melodies. It might seem that the music should have become more ascetic and restrained, though in this case this kind of “primitivism” – hardly this word can be used here but if you know what I mean - adds solemnity and tragic emotional content. It makes the listener concentrate on the song itself, as the music neatly maneuvers from painful monotony to slack evolution and back and forth. The genius of the album lies at the bottom of the balance between harassing and sometimes even annoying slowness on the one hand and unpredictable bright melodies on the other. This surreal, sullen but devilishly magnetic musical painting is crowned with strident growling vocals, which perfectly fit the music and do not attract the listener’s attention more as it should, but emphasize the emotional component of the album. So, there is simply nothing to add or to take away – every song is organic and complete.

Overall “The Last Way” leaves quite compound feelings of mortification, despair and…ecstasy. Closer to the end of the album a slight feeling of depressive numbness appears, and well… isn't it an ultimate aim of any piece of music to touch the very nerves inside, influence the inner depths of your immortal soul and make you shiver with every following chord? After listening to “The Last Way” you do feel sort of a desire to walk this “way” one more time. This “way” is hard at the beginning, beautifully depressed in the middle and stately dramatic in the end and it is definitely worth going through.