Dark Rising ($5 Special)

SKU: MASCD0777
Label:
Massacre Records
Category:
Gothic Metal
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"What I thought, upon first listen, was going to be yet another Gothic Metal release in the vein of Epica, Midnattsol, Imperia, et al, turns out to be a bit more than that. Portugal's Enchantya touch most of the genre's clichés, from the band's name to the all-black look, the female lead singer and the haunting album art. But where the rubber hits the road, i.e. the songwriting, they brought a little extra to the table. Singer Rute Fevereiro has the requisite operatic voice and while not the match of a Tarja Turunen, she does a fine job with the material on Dark Rising, the band's first full-length album. Rather than settling for being just another Gothic Metal band, Enchantya's keyboardist brings a few Progressive Metal riffs to songs like the opening instrumental, "Unwavering Faith," and the solo of "Your Tattoo." The band wisely limits this trick using it just enough to give Dark Rising a distinct personality. "No Stars in the Sky" is a solid, up-tempo number, showing off some Nightwish worship, but also that Enchantya knows what goes into writing a good song. There are harsh vocals throughout the album, providing a nice balance to the sweetness of Fevereiro's singing. "Winter Dreams" is a beautifully melodic ballad while "Ocean Drops" successfully combines both the heavier and softer sides of the band. There are missteps, like the awful chorus on "She-Devil," but they are minimal and all is forgiven when the fantastic title track comes on. "Dark Rising" has wonderful melodies and a bright chorus and is sure to be a staple of the band's live set for years to come.

Dark Rising isn't going to make people forget about Nightwish's Wishmaster or Autumn's Altitude but it is a strong debut with just enough individuality to stand out from the crowd. Gothic and Symphonic Metal fans will want to put Enchantya on the radar screen for the foreseeable future." - The Metal Crypt

Product Review

Red Circle 1
Wed, 2015-11-04 13:22
Rate: 
0
Basically what should have been a major goth/prog/ metal release completely derailed by male death metal screaming. What is the fascination for this Bigfoot in heat nonsense?
Red Circle 1
Thu, 2015-11-12 13:39
Rate: 
0
Marred by growler vocals.Otherwise a terrific band.
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Product Review

Red Circle 1
Wed, 2015-11-04 13:22
Rate: 
0
Basically what should have been a major goth/prog/ metal release completely derailed by male death metal screaming. What is the fascination for this Bigfoot in heat nonsense?
Red Circle 1
Thu, 2015-11-12 13:39
Rate: 
0
Marred by growler vocals.Otherwise a terrific band.
You must login or register to post reviews.
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  • "TEARS OF MARTYR started back in the late nineties in the Canary Islands (Spain). They recorded a couple of demos. In 2007 they moved to Madrid (Spain) and in 2009 they recorded their studio debut "Entrance". They have recorded in 2012 second full-length album "Tales" produced by Enrik García. “Tales” via Massacre Records, was recently released.The opener, ”The Scent No. 13”, started its elevation with a calmer atmosphere. Then out of nowhere, emerge fantastic riffs and powerful drums breathing with amazing vocals. Berenice Musa has beautiful voice, singing in soprano right to the edge of Symphonic Metal, a bit reminding of Tarja Turunen of NIGHTWISH. I was impressed by this opener’s perception of melody. “Golem”, featured also as a video clip, is a pure Symphonic Metal oriented offering, partly operatic, magical phenomenon, catchy Gothic chorus with Miguel Angel Marqués’s occsional low end growling. I like the track “Of A Raven Born”, oozed up with  amazing symphonic elements, beautiful stronger riffs and an overall magnificent climate, astounding chorus and well played instrumentation. “Lost Boys”, fast paced and vigorous, is totally great, the great mixture of the growl of Miguel Angel Marqués with the vocalic features of Berenice Musa is wonderful, so as on “Fallen Hero”, which sounded a bit gentler. “Vampires Of The Sunset Street” has a remarkable chorus, well done mix of vocal types, fine melodic heaviness. Also worth to listen are: ”Wolves And A Witch” with sturdier riffs, Celtic like harmonies and other elements of Folk Metal, acoustic “Ancient Pine Awaits” with duo singing and “Mermaid And Loneliness” pictured as a great interesting balladry.TEARS OF MARTYR surprised me with its attention to details and classiness, it harbored wonderful music and catchy melodies melody, well written Symphonic Metal. Surely fans of NIGHTWISH will be in locking onto this one for grabs. This album is a source of both relaxation and anxiety, don’t get too comfortable." - Metal Temple
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  • "There are some bands that have a feel of “going through the motions” when releasing new albums, either relying on successes of previous efforts or generally uninspired by the process. Then there are bands that put every bit of energy, heart, and soul into each and every album driven by a desire to create stronger material, never lazing under the notion that albums “can’t get any better than ‘x’ release.”Ever since 2003, Swiss folk metal act Eluveitie has been captivating with every release, as if the word “monumental” was ingrained in the band's genes. It’s not simply because of its Celtic roots, or the combination of melody with that splash of extreme, or the use of what seems like hundreds of instruments (most of which you can't pronounce), but also the amount of blood that runs through the songs like veins inside each album. There is energy with every album that transcends the boundaries of just being music….it’s a blanket that warms, a beer that satiates, a lover that satisfies, a book that creates worlds, and music that emotes. “Origins” might just be the best album in the band’s history and clearly is a top contender for 2014.Eluveitie also has the distinction of being one of the few groups that has the ability to inspire fans to delve deeper into the historical content of each release, especially after witnessing a live performance. It’s one thing to live in the comfort of a well-produced album with the ability to perfect the sound, but once you see this band in a live setting – meticulously re-creating the sound of the recorded masterpiece note for note, instrument for instrument with deadly precision – the true beauty shines through. Only by visualizing this culmination of what must be a motherload of practice and effort that has led to perfect timing and execution will you then have complete appreciation for how much this band gives a shit about its craft. Calling it extraordinary seems so ordinary.“Origins” expounds upon the formula blazed in “Helveitos,” but harkens a bit back to the days of “Slania,” with much higher production values. I was a bit perplexed by a backlash from some critics of “Helveitos” who cited a rather startling “lack of originality,” so it wouldn’t be a shock to see “Origins” met with similar caterwauling. More astounding is trying to comprehend exactly what the expectation level is given the history of Eluveitie since “Evocation” was released in 2008. With “Origins” you can brace yourself for much greater Celtic “origins,” more bagpipes and flutes, and more participation from Anna Murphy, who has now become just as indispensable as Chrigel.There is plenty of “Slania” here to keep the “trve fans” satisfied – check out “Inception,” “King,” “Carry the Torch,” or “The Silver Sister.” For those that also love intricate and pulse generating Celtic melodies with more flutes, tin whistles, and Gaitas than you will ever find at a Riverdance show, all reinforced by Chrigel’s death grows and interlaced with Anna Murphy’s astounding voice – look no further than tracks like “Celtos,” “From Darkness,” “The Nameless,” “Sucellos” and what sounds like the sequel to “A Rose for Epona” – “The Call of the Mountains.” The only chink in the otherwise perfect armor is the swiftness that this album passes, even though it clocks in at 52 minutes, not including intros (58 with). I suddenly wished for an hour and a half, knowing it will probably be too long.In the end, Eluvetie raised it's stock higher, carving a greater niche and ascending a crowded folk metal scene. In what will surely be a fiddle fight death match with bands like Elvenking and Equilibrium, Eluveitie may just be the strongest contender this year, barring no subgenre. “Origins” will astound the faithful as well as garner more critics desiring “something different.” The fact remains….what Eluveitie does is in of itself “something different” and “Origins” may be the best effort yet." - Metal Underground
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  • Here's a prog rock band from New Jersey that frankly was completely unknown to me until I stumbled on them recently.  Good thing too!No More Pain is a quartet that blends contemporary sounds with classic old school prog.  My initial thoughts when I first heard the band was going to lead me to comparisons to Spock's Beard and Echolyn but the deeper I dug into it the whole thing clicked - BEARDFISH!  Lots of similarities to that great Swedish band in the way they take elements of the 70s and wipe the schmutz off it and make it sound fresh and new.  Some nice flashy keyboard solos will make you flashback to 1973 Tony Banks.  Scrub the comparisons you might read referencing Dream Theater - none of that is going on here.  This is pure prog rock.  If you are looking for metal move on - you'll be disappointed.  Lots of music packed into this disc, capping off with the 17 minute epic "The Network".  These guys need a publicist and maybe get out and play some festivals.  Highly recommended.
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  • "Central to the album are tracks like "Beautiful" and "Missing," each bristling with redemptive lyrical and vocal power, Dug near evangelical above his chosen eccentric palette, one of abrasive textures and sublime melodies that emanate truths rather than delivering them primary-colored and sharp-angled.Says Dug: ""Beautiful" is one of my favorites: ‘Don't forget you’re beautiful.' Everything I sing about, even if I’m telling somebody something about themselves, I'm actually talking to myself, about something that I've been through. So I just go ‘you,’ instead of ‘me’ (laughs). There were many times I just never felt like I was any good, and a lot of us feel that way. So I just figured, hey, ‘Don't forget you’re beautiful.’ That's a good line. And I've seen people cry, listening to that song. And "Missing;" musically it just slams; just from the beginning, even before I put the lyrics on it, it's like, this song is going to work. It was just special for me. It has some kind of vibe that I wasn't used to, a whole new slant with respect to what I do."Lightening up from the dirty strip-mining of the record’s guttural tone is a little ditty called "Equal Rights." The song is pret’ near a bit of a revival hoe-down, and might be a surefire hit, in a different time, space and dimension."Yeah, that was fun," laughs Dug. "There was an old Larry Graham/Grand Central Station song, and Sly And The Family Stone used to do the sang type of thing. They used to sit around and do these harmonies, this black gospel kind of thing, and I grew up in that situation, so I put that together with the slide guitar. I picked up slide years and years ago, but never played it. On this record I play slide all over the place. So I sat down and started strumming a guitar, and I thought, you know, maybe I'll write some kind of old gospel-type song. ‘Equal rights for everyone,’ yeah!"
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  • "Christianity and Heavy Metal have never really been the most obvious of bedfellows. Ever since the formation of the genre at the end of the 1960's, the relationship between Heavy Metal, in particular the more extreme variations of it, and the established Church, have been, for the most part, frosty. This doesn't mean that the two cannot come together though; There are countless great bands that have been playing great music that pays homage, rather than expressing outright hatred, to Christianity; TROUBLE, MORTIFICATION, HORDE, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT and DIVINEFIRE are the first bands that spring to mind for me every time I hear some closed minded moron quote that old, cringe-worthy and wholly incorrect adage about the Devil having the best tunes. Slovakian Power Metallers, SIGNUM REGIS, are one such band that are not only proving this phrase wrong, but are also using their knowledge of their faith to create great themes and concepts for their albums. Their last full length, for example, was based around Moses' liberation of the Israelites and their trials in the desert. This latest EP is full of the sort of classic Power Metal that many have grown to love, and it sounds amazing.This EP opens with a very solid, powerful opener, "Living Well". This is a great piece of Power Metal, with all the hallmarks of the genre; with a few harder aspects peppering the classic sound, which gives it it's own unique flavour. All this track’s elements work well together; it's really well mixed, and doesn't wander into the realms of cheesiness as some Power Metal has a tendency to, and above all, it's a great way to kick the record off. "Through the Desert, Through the Storm" treads down a much more straightforward Heavy Metal path, with razor sharp guitar lines, angelic vocals and some fairly interesting keyboard parts thrown in for good measure. The chorus is great, with some genuinely hair-raising parts that were just made for singing along to. "My Guide In The Night" is another really good piece of Power Metal with brilliant vocals and guitar work, punishing drums and some really cool keyboard sections. The fourth track, "Come and Take It", is perhaps the most straight forward Power Metal song on here, with plenty of great hooks to keep the listener interested. The penultimate track, a re-recorded version of "All Over the World", sounds even better for having been redone, and sits very well among the bands newer material.  "Vengeance Liar", which closes this EP, is perhaps the strongest song on this record apart from "Through the Desert, Through the Storm", and has a really cool, classic Power Metal sound with some genuinely inspired guitar playing and really spectacular vocals to match. It sounds awesome, and is a very good high note to end this record on.This EP is very good. Anyone who loves Power Metal will most likely enjoy this. This sounds like a band that have honed their style and perfected their image, now ready to take their music to the world at large. I'd highly recommend this EP, and indeed the rest of this bands awesome back catalogue, to anyone who loves, powerful, uplifting Metal music." - Metal Temple
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  • "Once upon a time there was a guitar god who had grown bored with all his fame, riches and glory. He longed for something more than another multi-platinum selling record. He desired not simply acclaim, but respect. He knew to get it he would have to walk away from the distinctive style that made him popular and wealthy. It was a risk to confuse his band and his fans by making a radical change in his musical direction. But he did it anyway and broke up the classic version of his band, alienating much of his audience in the process.It must have seemed worth it at the time to Carlos Santana. Appearing at Woodstock had announced to the world there was a new guitar hero on the scene, a skinny Mexican who fused elements of rock, Latin, jazz and funky R&B in one soul-stirring stew. Santana delivered on the promise with a trilogy of terrific albums.The initial effort in Santana's amazing adventures in fusion, Caravanserai (Columbia, 1972), is the sound of a band uncertain of its music and its leader equally uncertain of the direction he wants to take them. Following Santana III (Columbia, 1971), it must have puzzled executives at Columbia when Santana presented it to them. While it has its definite highs, the low points of Caravanserai are very low.Gregg Rolle was skillful on the organ, acceptable as a vocalist and totally out of his league trying to fake it as a jazz musician. Rolle simply lacked the feel for this dense, hook-free tunes and soon would leave to form Journey, taking guitarist Neal Schon with him.The record is disjointed as Santana can't fully let go of the Latin rock that made him wealthy and famous. Never the strongest vocalist, Rolle sings on three unmemorable songs. The songs aren't strong and neither is the playing. You can almost feel Santana's frustration. If he were going to succeed in this new path he was on he would need something conspicuous in its absence from Caravanserai.He would need better musicians to play the way he wanted and better music for them to play. Carlos took the first step when he joined with guitarist John McLaughlin for Love, Devotion and Surrender (Columbia, 1972). Santana brought along members of his band and teamed with McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra to produce an eclectic electric guitar summit that perplexed fans, critics and record executives.Welcome solved both problems. David Brown (bass) and Michael Carabello (percussion) were already out by that time and Rollie and Schon were eyeballing the exit sign as well.Santana has always fused the spiritual with the secular and Welcome is as close as the guitarist has ever come to the former with no regard for the latter. Welcome yielded no hit singles and was never conceived as an album rock radio would play. This is Santana's John Coltrane/A Love Supreme moment: creating transcendent, reverent, passionate music conceived and executed by a virtuoso artist without the slightest trace of concern for commercial considerations.The opening drone of the two organs on "Going Home" played by Tom Coster and Richard Kermode build gradually and soar high with grandeur. Santana lays out here and frequently fades into the background entirely. He is finally secure in his own playing and doesn't have to take the lead. His new-found confidence comes from knowing he finally has a band capable of delivering the goods and they do. Welcome is every bit as much of a classic as the first three Santana albums. It sounds great nearly 40 years after its release.The only comparable rock guitarist who altered his sound as drastically as Santana did with Welcome is Jeff Beck, with his career-altering Blow by Blow (Epic, 1975). The critical difference is Beck was taking the next step after a series of unremarkable bands and records that had flopped. Santana was at the peak of his fame when he drastically altered course and followed the path of A Love Supreme in seeking to make music that satisfied his soul, not a record company's ledger sheet.Even Robert Christgau, the noted (and notorious) rock critic/curmudgeon, and former music editor of The Village Voice smiled upon Welcome."More confident and hence more fun than Caravanserai, this proves that a communion of multipercussive rock and transcendentalist jazz can move the unenlightened—me, for instance. Good themes, good playing, good beat, and let us not forget good singing—Leon Thomas's muscular spirituality grounds each side so firmly that not even Flora Purim can send it out the window."Not everybody completely "got" Welcome in 1973. It wasn't slightly different like Caravanserai, with one foot still in rock and another with a toe dipping lightly into not only jazz fusion, but even free jazz. The signature sizzling guitar solos were there, but more restrained and at times even submerged within the collective of the group.The secret weapon is Michael Shrieve's energetic drumming and the dual keyboard attack of Coster and Kermode. They push and pull Santana to go beyond and stop holding back. Some have called the album disappointingly thin and self-indulgent, but that's a harsh assessment. There are no hit singles or any concessions made to radio here. Maybe an adventuresome jazz station would play "Samba De Sausalito," but even the vocal tracks, "When I Look Into Your Eyes" and "Light of Life" feature Leon Thomas' vocals. Alternating between soulful singing and off-the-wall yodeling, Thomas is perhaps the most polarizing of the many Santana vocalists.The other unique aspect to Welcome band was the band's first female member, Wendy Haas, a vocalist and keyboard player Santana plucked from Azteca, the same band he found a hot-shot 17-yr-old guitarist named Neal Schon, the future guitarist of Journey.If Welcome is the summit of Santana's jazz fusion era, Lotus (Columbia, 1974) and Borboletta (Columbia, 1974) are the sound of that era falling off a cliff. Lotus was a mammoth three-record live set that was only available as a high-priced import, but in 1991 Columbia released it domestically whittling it down to two CDs. It's brilliant, messy and at times, total overkill in overlength and Thomas is inept trying to front Santana standards such as "Black Magic Woman." Borboletta showcases a sullen Santana fronting an equally lethargic band and cursed by the ugliest cover art ever to appear on a Santana record. It's the splat of the band finally hitting the proverbial wall.frustrated by tepid record sales, Santana ditched his dalliance with jazz and returned to Latin rock glory with Amigos (Columbia, 1976). Though he was still billed as "Devadip" Carlos Santana he was drifting away from his guru, Sri Chimoy, and would leave both him and jazz behind for the rest of his career. Blues For Salvador (Columbia, 1987) won a Grammy for Best Instrumental and Santana Brothers (Universal/Polygram, 1994) is good, but these are primarily instrumental recordings and not really jazz.The Swing of Delight (Columbia, 1980) pairs Santana with trumpeter Miles Davis' classic quintet colleagues Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, with Santana's blistering guitar leads replacing the lonely fire of Davis' trumpet, but the result isn't as incendiary as might have been hoped for. Most of the songs on The Swing of Delight are merely star-filled jam sessions lacking the structure and passion of Welcome.Santana has continued to release instrumental albums, but they aren't jazz and since the 15 million-selling Supernatural granted him late career superstar status on him in 1999, he has wasted the better part of a decade chasing similar success minus similar results. The bottom of the barrel is Guitar Heaven, which sounds like the name for a video game but is a pandering mess of classic rock covers.At this point in his life, Santana should be financially secure and has married his second wife, jazz drummer Cindy Blackman. In May he released the 22nd Santana album, Shape Shifter (Starfaith, 2012). With the exception of one vocal track it is a recording of instrumentals exclusively, with just the man and his band and no awkward guest stars crow-barred in except his son Salvador playing keyboards.In an interview, Santana explained why he was taking a break from his overly commercial direction of the past decade."In a lot of ways, yes, because I don't need to accommodate lyrics, and I don't need to accommodate artists. I say this in a funny way, but it's more about letting a Mexican play the guitar, you know?""I'm never going to wait so long to brew 'em like this anymore. I'm going to make sure that I do one album like this and then another kind. I remember reading that John Coltrane would do one Pursuance album, and then he'd do a ballads album where he'd hardly play a solo—he'd just play the melody verbatim."Shape Shifter may be a slight retreat for Santana from pop music and a return to pulling power chords from his guitar, but it's not going to be "Welcome: The Sequel." That was a different man making different music in a different time. The Santana of 1973 is not the Santana of 2012, but that man would not be the one he is now had he not chased his inner Coltrane and made a record as bold, brave and eternally beautiful as Welcome."- All About Jazz
    $7.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00