|Review: Enmerkar - Starlit Passage|
Label: Eerie Art Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: July 7, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This is the debut from the oddly-named Enmerkar (Enmerkar was a mysterious king of ancient Sumer, said to have founded the city of Uruk, and sometimes conflated with Nimrod.) This is a US band, but I really could have told you that without looking, as their sound is so closely related to Wolves in the Throne Room that if you just heard this without knowing who it was, you would swear it was bonus tracks off Malevolent Grain or something. Which is not to say this is not good, in fact, it is excellent.
This presents a slightly thicker, more orchestral sound than WitTR, with densely layered chords and much less distinction between the instruments. The vocals are quite sparse, and the rasps are mixed low enough that you can miss them easily, which I think only adds to the arcane and mysterious feel of the recording. This is too dense for me to label it atmospheric – though it has lots of atmosphere – and is not laid-back enough to be lumped in with the post-metal crowd. Overall I find this a gripping and satisfying listen, only hampered by not being nearly long enough. Enmerkar may be imitating WitTR a bit more than they should, but if they keep doing it this well I for one will not tell them to quit. Besides, a band that shows this much maturity and melodic sense will find their own way sooner rather than later. A deeply impressive debut that makes me want more.
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|Review: Starlit Passage (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)|
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