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Brutal Death Metal with essence intact - 85%

KC, January 3rd, 2014

If there’s anything these Bulgarians are doing right, it’s playing Death Metal with brutality without compromising on its essence. By that I mean, speed and technicality is fine, but what about the riffs and catchiness or memorability for that matter? Too often bands these days overlook this crucial fact because of which they get lost in the sea of faceless bands. Cannibal Corpse was brutal but why aren’t the band’s clones as popular as Cannibal Corpse? Or even remembered as fondly – the answer is simple, the music had real riffs, catchiness combined with heaviness, it was music that stood the test of time. Admittedly that band was the first one to play music with such a shock value and that stuck, but it’s a moot point if you disregard that the riffing was a class apart. Enthrallment is such a band – on the face of it, it’s not doing something overly brutal or shocking, but the compositions and riffs are a class apart. I can’t believe this band isn’t more popular – I’d take this any day over these hundreds of CC or Suffo clones.

Enthrallment’s Death Metal is comparable to that of the Dutch bands, heavy and fat, chunky riffing with the Floridian Death Metal touch of bands like Monstrosity and Morbid Angel, especially in the chugging which is done with some class not as a substitute for riffs. The songs actually have structures and you can actually differentiate between songs. This is as brutal as it can get, and beyond that it’s redundant – what’s the point if it’s all blast and no substance? This band has substance. There are leads, build-ups, breakdowns, tightness, skill and phenomenal level of competence. Admittedly, the music isn’t original or flashy, but it’s extremely well-played.

This makes the Death Metal fan in me happy – I remember the time when I wanted music that was catchy and compelling, and this is just that. It doesn’t give you a headache, it gives you a smile. And plenty of reasons to. One word review for this album would be – effective. It’s hard to do so much right, in a time when writers can’t even differentiate between good and bad Death Metal. This is humongous, Death Metal with all its essence taken forward, but only so much till the band can do justice to it.


Originally online at Transcending Obscurity - www.transcendingobscurity.com

Enthrallment - People From the Lands of Vit - 40%

Orbitball, May 25th, 2012

First time ever hearing this brutal death/grind outfit and man was I disappointed! Just nowhere this album goes to. I didn't really like anything about it. The vocals were deep throat based, the guitars were fast, but the leads really lagged. The production quality was mediocre. You can hear all of the instruments pretty well, but this album is just a putrid display of their genres. I didn't like anything about it. The sound quality was below par in my opinion.

I don't really favor what they sing about. Plus you can't understand the vocals anyway unless you read the lyric sheet. This is not a new thing though. Most death metal bands are impossible to decipher what the vocalists are singing about. Definitely a short album and the instrumental on track 9 was useless. It didn't fit the album at all. They should've even have put that on here. Only a 31 minute album and 31 minutes of useless music. I couldn't stand to play it even more than once.

The music featured guitars that were tremolo picked galore which is good but nothing really stuck to me playing this release. I don't think that they put in enough time and effort to recording this album. There should've been a stronger production quality, music that sticks to you, vocals that display a modicum amount of talent and originality in regards to the lyrical content. I can't even fathom 1 song on here that I actually did like. The whole of the release that has nothing I have good to say about it.

Riffs needed to be more memorable as far as the songwriting goes. Leads need to be better constructed. Not just gibberish. Vocals need more variety in tone. It doesn't take a lot of talent to feature only gutteral throat especially since there features just one vocalist. The drums were monotonous and fit the riffs but bored the hell out of me. If you're going to do a bit of grind, best to follow what Mick Harris did for Napalm Death during the earlier days of the band, especially on Harmony Corruption,

Overall, not worth picking up. A complete waste if you ask me. I don't hear any talent with this band. They have nothing good to offer the death/grind community. Too short of a release, guitars that show no innovation or memorability, lyrics that are putrid, vocals which are monotonous, production that is totally weak, and mixing that was just average. I plan on not hearing this band ever again. There just was nothing that struck me here. Avoid it at all costs!

Hellish, hammering intimidation - 68%

autothrall, May 8th, 2012

Though People from the Lands of Vit is my first encounter with brute Bulgarians Enthrallment, they've surely gotta be one of the heaviest bands from that country in memory, muscling the shit out of the material on this album as if they were spending an afternoon at the gym. Machine gun double bass rhythms, old school tremolo picked guitar lines, dissonance, over the top growling, spastic leads running all over the fretboard, ominous intensity that propagates itself through the incessant hostility. They throw so much sheer force at the listener that you feel a strain to remain standing in the face of it. That's not to say I found this effort entirely rewarding, but they certainly know how to leave an impression ON your cranium, if not inside it.

Certainly you've got a foundation of Morbid Angel (first three albums), with Deicide and Napalm Death in their formative death metal phases, but perhaps a better comparison would be to the Brazilian gutwrenchers Krisiun or the more belligerent batterings of Polish bands like Behemoth, Azarath and Vader. I really liked Plamen's vocals here, though he never does anything all that unique or varied he just smothers the music with this enormous guttural timbre that seems like it might wither flowers and deflesh puppies and children in a 60 yard radius. The solos are your normally scale-zipping and arpeggios, but they work within this niche for a reason: the frivolous and frenetic contrast they create against the cement-like undercurrent of the rhythm section. On a precision basis, Enthrallment certainly deliver the goods, and anyone who seeks out a pure neckbreaking, hyperactive experience within this field of slaughter will not come away disappointed. The caveat is that there's not much more to take out of it...

I hate repeating myself, and I know I've said it a thousand times before, but the fact is that Enthrallment just aren't bringing anything new to the table. Which would be perfectly acceptable if they were particularly strong in the songwriting department, but so many of the tunes on this album just blow by without insinuating themselves to my memory. The riffing patterns always feel familiar, chugging stop/starts interspersed with minor chords and speed picking, violent and machine-like drums. In small doses, this is a great way to build up a sweat, but in the long term it starts to feel monotonous, despite the level of punishment these five guys are beating straight into your face. Proof of this is when the one departure on the album, the dark industrial/symphonic track with deep horns and ritual war drums near the close of the album ("Punishment for Baneful") stands out like a sore thumb. It's only meant to serve as an evil, thematic interlude, but it makes the rest of the track list seem to blend together. I can only imagine if they had spread this atmosphere out through the entirety of the album, how devastating it might have proven.

Still, People from the Lads of Vit is entirely competent for what it is. The 32 minute play length ensures that one never quite becomes bored (similar to the old blast-fests that Krisiun would release), and they definitely churn out a few effective riffs in tunes like "Unholy Diviners" (my favorite here) and the Vader-like "A Full Land of Worms... From the River to the Void". The pure velocity and authenticity of the Bulgarians are not virtues anyone could question after hearing how hard they hammer away on this thing, but in the end it just seems like a workout. Dizzying and driven, but once you put the weights down it's time to move on. That said, if you've a thing for faster paced Nile, Krisiun, or last years well-received Azarath Blasphemer's Maledictions, then I believe you'll want to place this band on your radar, because they are demented-as-hell heavy.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com