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Ennui > The Last Way > Reviews > Stigmath
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.