Enshine - Singularity review
|Release date:||October 2015|
01. Dual Existence
04. In Our Mind
05. Astarium Pt. II
08. The Final Trance
Leaving behind the limitations of our mind, our physical form, and our existence has rarely felt so sorrowful, so conflicted, and yet so hopeful and inspiring. Enshine have returned with a more decisive release this time around, replete with perfected arrangements, lyrical ideas that leave the listener in a dreamlike state of existential thoughts, and an atmosphere that presses upon one's heart like a cold sun drifting endlessly upward into the infinite stars of possibilities.
Even before the album begins, the artwork of Singularity, courtesy of vocalist/keyboardist Sébastien Pierre, offers us a taste of what lies within. From the barren landscapes, to the ominous starship with distant worlds beside it, to the mechanical humanoid phoenixes staring silently at each other, the artwork's lush stoicism provides an appealing backdrop for reading along as the album develops. And, for those unfamiliar with the band's sound, Enshine create their hybrid of a very melodic death doom with all of the gothic atmospheres and contemplative emotions they can find, packaged in a production that takes itself seriously, with a penchant for warmth and the dramatic.
The first thing I noticed musically on this release is that not only has guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Jari Lindholm moved beyond simply having his own style of guitar playing, but he has reached a level of confidence in his sound, and now, quite strongly, has his own voice that has become unmistakable. For the last minute or so of "Adrift," his solo possesses a grandeur that paints a picture of the last humans floating slowly skyward above splendid volcanic peaks, tears in their eyes, but looking away from the ground and instead at the horizon, not wishing to return. The arrangements within "In Our Mind" take Jari's playing straight to the forefront, falling almost immediately into a eloquent melody that makes the most out of one's sound system. As the last third of the track approaches, the keys twinkle like distant planets and stars, the listener inhales, and Jari's guitarwork instantly feels like that moment a space traveler turns around, only to find a spectacular nebula, filled with a spectrum of colors that could embolden even the most distraught person in its presence. It soars, it expands, and softly lands within your spirit.
What makes Singularity rewarding for repeated listens is that it doesn't just dwell in expansive guitar melodies or softer passages, but it is full of more aggressive pieces and tracks that help to diversify the overall message. "Resurgence" gives session drummer Fredrik Widigs ample space to offer up some thundering yet methodical beats beneath an ominous guitar tone, all beside Enshine's tenacious demand for answers to life's questions with the spirit of vengeance. "Tell me / Were we dead or free?" sings Sébastien in one of his best vocal moments on the album, ideally placed in a way to make the listener raise a torch with a fire bright enough to enlighten the deepest corners of the universe.
With the addition and placement of not one but two instrumentals, Singularity can be approached as though there are two sides to the album. In fact, the initial track that drew me into the disc was "Echoes," which feels like the beginning of another chapter, a more introverted tone, even if the music stays quite consistent throughout the disc. "Echoes" does what is one of the most impressive things to me in music, in that the music itself personifies the message. Just as Sébastien reminds us we "just had to open to the moment," Jari's ending guitar solo embodies the lyrics by echoing itself into prominence, softly becoming louder just as listening to one's heart, eyes closed, would feel at that moment of reaching the non-physical form, leaving behind the limitations of time. And, finally, on the last vocal track, "The Final Trance," Enshine deliver perhaps their most interesting riff of the album once the song kicks in, a melody that grips the ears like the conclusive reflection on what mankind once was, all the tension of our fragility, and every dream of something greater each person has had.
With a continuation of all the ideas and soundscapes explored on their debut, Enshine deliver a release that is at once heavy and yet is profoundly thought-provoking, and one that mixes subgenres with ease and consistency. Singularity is like an hourglass floating through time into the cosmos, of which Enshine have given the listener a chair to sit exactly in the middle. On one side of it, the solace of the soul and human existence, and on the other side, an unexplored galaxy filled with an eternally transcendent idea and newfound consciousness. The only thing we must do is retake our lives, and listen with our hearts.
||Written on 17.12.2015 by|
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