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Enthrope - "Silenced Earth" (CD)

Enthrope - "Silenced Earth" CD cover image

"Silenced Earth" track listing:

1. Silence The Earth (4:48)
2. Cloud Six (6:13)
3. End It All (6:18)

Reviewed by on May 8, 2009

"Metal fans who crave the downer atmosphere of bands like Swallow the Sun or Rapture but want it played at a faster speed along the lines of Moonspell will find “Silenced Earth” to be exactly what they are looking for."

“Silenced Earth” may only be a short demo created by the fledgling Finnish band Enthrope to shop around to labels, but everything about the three songs contained within indicates a professional band ready to head off on a world tour. The excellent production, heavy but thoroughly atmospheric style, and high quality cover art all point to a group on the cusp of making a name for themselves in the extreme metal scene.

Hopefully “Silenced Earth” works its magic on a record label executive, because a full length album from Enthrope would easily hit the regular rotation of any death metal fan who likes a good deal of melody and a little synth work in their crushingly oppressive hate.

Enthrope would ostensibly be considered melodic death metal, but the focus lies enough on the melodic side of that equation that the term “dark metal” probably fits better. Even though there are plenty of guttural death growls permeating the music, no one is ever going to mistake Enthrope for At The Gates. Each track seems less interested in being brutal than in creating a specific mood by combining the harsh vocals with the synthesized sounds to produce a slightly depressing and gothic atmosphere. It’s always impressive when a band can appear to be straddling the line of symphonic metal without actually using orchestral instruments, and Enthrope does that well. The Gothenburg sound does show up in their guitar work, however, especially on the title track, which bears a strong resemblance to the music of Callenish Circle.

The vocals have a great deal of variation, although the core sound is a lower death growl. Eerie whispers suddenly replace the screams at unexpected times and the final song, “End It All,” also features some backing clean singing. All three songs frequently have sighing female vocals laced throughout the background behind the guitars, but since there are only men credited on the demo and the female parts never actually deliver any lyrics it may just be an exceptionally well done synthesizer reproduction. The combination of harsh vocals with backing female sighs alongside the heavy and steady drum work calls to mind the more gothic elements of the Portuguese band Moonspell.

Each song follows a very similar pattern of using a fast and heavy part that eventually slows down to allow the synths and more toned down vocals to take the reins. The music then gets slightly harder, blending the heavy with the soft, until eventually it makes the trek full circle back into the full force metal. Despite the similarity in structure between all three tracks there is surprisingly little bleed through, as each song stands distinctly separate from the others.

Metal fans who crave the downer atmosphere of bands like Swallow the Sun or Rapture but want it played at a faster speed along the lines of Moonspell will find “Silenced Earth” to be exactly what they are looking for. The Gothenburg tone that gets thrown into the mix is really just icing on the cake, expanding the appeal even further. With any luck this is just the beginning of Enthrope’s career and they have a lot more to offer the metal world.

Highs: Gothic and melodic sound, heavy guitar tone similar to the Gothenburg style

Lows: Too short for a band with so much potential, and the structure in each song is a little too similar

Bottom line: An atmospheric demo along the lines of Moonspell with a good dose of the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)