(The Artisan Era)
It’s sounds weird, but I was quite hesitant to hear the long-overdue second album by Tennessee’s Enfold Darkness. Their 2009 debut, Our Cursed Rapture, showcased a very promising new band with a unique style, which was took the fast-paced melodeath of The Black Dahlia Murder or Arsis and mixed it with melodic black metal and large doses of tech-death, prog, and symphonic metal. Enfold Darkness were basically everything The Faceless were trying to be, with much more melodic (and coherent) songwriting. Numerous set-backs and line-up changes caused some significant delays, and with only one member still in tow (guitarist James Turk), so the question was whether the newly-retooled band have re-captured their old spark?
Well, in a world ravaged by terrible reboots, our only solace is unexpected sequels that smash expectations like a poorly-constructed pinata. Enfold Darkness 2.0 has all the unique blackened melodeath style, with a much bigger tech/prog flair (plus Jamie King’s excellent production work). Adversary Omnipotent sounds fantastic, and the whole band sounds like they’ve been together for a long while; the group’s comfort level with each other is impressive. The compositions are tight, technical, and stupidly catchy. The feels exactly like an updated love letter to the type of hyper-melodic tech death of the 00s, and Enfold Darkness’ increased blackened and prog edge gives these songs a whole new dimension. This is a long album (maybe a touch longer than it should be, stalling near the end), but when a band has been out for so long, getting new material this consistently fantastic is one Hell of an accomplishment.
Those looking for premiere melodic extreme metal should look no further. Enfold Darkness are back and surprisingly better than ever.