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Enthrope - "Tomorrow's Dead Days" (CD)

Enthrope - "Tomorrow's Dead Days" CD cover image

"Tomorrow's Dead Days" track listing:

1. Cloud Six (6:24)
2. The Last Lunation (5:24)
3. Moon Chains Descent (5:02)
4. Illumination Paradox (6:01)
5. Enemy Within (4:45)
6. End It All (6:23)
7. Dead Sun Fragment (5:23)
8. The Desolate (4:32)
9. Stars Of Nhagrad (8:24)

Reviewed by on August 17, 2010

"The songs are very easily recognizable as having that trademark Finnish dark metal sound, but what sets the album apart is the smooth instrumentation that constantly moves in different directions."

The 2008 demo “Silenced Earth” by Enthrope was sent out to websites and labels in an attempt to garner interest for the Finnish project so a full-length could finally see the light of day. It appears to have pressed the right buttons, because Supernova picked the band up for the release of “Tomorrow’s Dead Days.” During the two year wait, Enthrope managed to put together a collection of songs containing everything that made the demo great, while still maintaining a consistent high quality throughout a much longer run time.

As with on “Silenced Earth,” Enthrope crafts a sound that belongs in the death metal genre, even though that’s not the most accurate description of the music. Even phrases like “melodic” or “symphonic” aren’t quite the right adjectives to tack on. The album’s press kit describes it as “majestic and atmospheric,” and that’s actually a direct hit. The entire album has a nearly constant undercurrent of synth work, but it’s a backing measure to give the music substance instead of the focus of any song. The constant atmospheric background segments create a stellar flow throughout the album, although it has the downside that much of the music’s power is lost if it isn’t being actively listened to and scrutinized.

While Enthrope created believable female sighs and chants on the demo through synth work alone, on the full-length the band recruited Suvi Grym of Vanguard to give real female vocals on a few tracks. Much like the backing atmosphere of the album, the female vocals are a vehicle to move the songs onward, rather than a focus or an attempt to create a “beauty and the beast” effect.

The main growls and screams bring to mind Fernando Ribeiro’s work on the latest Moonspell albums. While maintaining aggression and having serious weight, there is still a melodic quality to the growls that make them something altogether different than what would be expected on a more brutal death metal record. “Moon Chains Descent” also has a brief bout of clean male singing to round out the vocal work.

The songs are very easily recognizable as having that trademark Finnish dark metal sound, but what sets the album apart is the smooth instrumentation that constantly moves in different directions. From melodic guitars providing a counterbalance to pummeling bouts of drum work, to random 80’s rock style synths, and even to the psychedelic and trippy feel of “Illumination Paradox,” this is an album always in motion.

All of the songs are tied together but a steady theme of illumination, heavenly bodies, and astrological symbols. The cosmic nature of the music occasionally brings to mind the non-Satanic songs from modern era Samael. A galactic atmosphere isn’t just limited to the lyrics however, as songs like “Dead Sun Fragment” construct a feeling of being suspended in air by cleverly combining the guitar and synth sounds.

“Tomorrow’s Dead Days” plays out as the fulfillment of the promise created in the “Silenced Earth” demo. Enthrope has refined and progressed their sound, and proved that the band can keep up their unique dark style effectively over an hour without getting repetitive. Fans of Finnish metal or later Moonspell will be right at home exploring the nuances of the disc over many spins.

Highs: Great dark symphonic atmosphere, interesting themes, a few instances of unexpected psychedelic segments.

Lows: The constant backing synth work can get lost in the music.

Bottom line: Enthrope's debut full-length successfully mixes aggressive death metal with atmospheric synth work.

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)