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Enochian Theory - 'Life ... And All It Entails' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2b/7b/14/2246_enochiantheorylifeandallitentails_1338832385.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 04, 2012    
 
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Uncompromising, beautiful, challenging and dark.

It has been three years since Enochian Theory introduced their brooding take on Prog with the intricate and involving full length debut ‘Evolution: Creatio Ex Nihilio’. And I’m pleased to say that album number two ‘LIFE ...And All It Entails’ finds the band returning with a similar style. Hailing from the Prog Metal heartland that is...Portsmouth(!?), Enochian Theory have absorbed a variety of styles into their sound and as with their debut, the results on ‘LAAIE’ are uncompromising, beautiful, challenging and dark. An album for when life seems to be getting on top of you this is not, with dense arrangements, thoughtful vocals and bleak subject matter making for a melancholic affair. However if you crave an album that invites you to explore its deep, dark depths with the promise of new discoveries on every expedition, then ‘LIFE ...And All It Entails’ will be absolutely essential listening.

A three-piece, Enochian Theory comprise of Sam Street on drums and percussion, Shaun Rayment on bass and Benedict Harris-Hayes on guitars, piano and throat. Now that last word will have the more sensitive of you scurrying under your pink velvet cushions, as yes, Benedict does introduce growls into his vocal style. However for those of you immediately put off by that prospect, the quite stunning ‘Nisis Credideritis, Non Intelligetis’ may well persuade you otherwise. Yes, cookie-monster vocals do appear, however they merely augment the otherwise deep, rich, clean vocals that are delivered with a steady ease. Added to the Enochian mix are “The Lost Orchestra”, which are credited in the booklet with providing “FX, Synthesizers & Orchestral Performance”. This aspect of ‘LIFE ...And All It Entails’ provides a grandeur that lifts this album beyond purely being another Prog-Metal release, with strings and piano bringing a more refined air to the riffs and guitar motifs that Harris-Hayes expertly provides.

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Pinning this band down to a style, or comparison is pleasingly difficult, with everyone from Opeth and Porcupine Tree to Coheed And Cambria or even Kino being hinted at in places, without ever fully being paid homage to. Whether it is the thick, heavy guitar attack of the aforementioned ‘Nisis...’, the uplifting burst of ‘Singularities’, the sparse and threatening ‘Inversions’ or the string led ‘The Motives Of The Machine’, where remote voice samples add to the oppressive air, ‘LIFE...And All It Entails’ is an album that fully engages you from start to finish. Not only does it benefit from detailed listening, but it positively flourishes under this type of inspection, becoming a fully encapsulating experience that you are fully involved with.

Progressive Rock and Metal are meant to be genres that stretch boundaries and expectations and while this is not something that can truly be said for many bands within these confines, Enochian Theory genuinely do offer something a little different from the norm. ‘LIFE...And All It Entails’ is definitely and defiantly all the better for it.

Steven Reid

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