Enshine_SingularityWinter is coming, and when the cold reaches my home and hearth, it’s time to break out the top-shelf sad boy melodic doom-death and spin it until Odin renews the world and grants primacy to the sun once more. As the low winter sun encroaches, one of the first bands into the depressive breach is the long defunct but truly excellent Rapture. A close second is the even longer defunct Slumber. The latter released but one brilliant album (Fallout) before imploding, and said album went on to be tragically overlooked, but was likely a big influence to bands like Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum. The brains behind Slumber belonged to Jari Lindholm and he eventually took his talents to Enshine where, along with co-founder Sebastien Pierre (Lethian Dreams, Fractal Gates), they released an excellent slab of melodic doom-death in 2013s Origin. Now this terrific twosome is back to uncork their next winter tested, Finland approved dose of ennui entitled Singularity. What it delivers is a hybrid of Slumber and my dearly departed Rapture – full of weepy guitars, beautifully trilling harmonies and monstrous death roars counter pointed by forlorn, Katatonia-esque cleans. It’s a depressive burrito you’ve tasted before, but the secret sauce is the brilliant writing and the all-enveloping mood. The end result is the near-perfect soundtrack to your sweet, snowbound misery.

Things begin swimmingly (in a cold Nordic lake) with “Dual Existence” which quickly sets the stage with somber and elegant harmonies, guttural death roars and an overwhelming sense of melancholy. There’s a nifty Katatonia-esque riff threaded throughout and everything calls to mind scenes of falling snow and quiet wintry landscapes. The solos are emotionally evocative and beautiful and everything feels classy and polished to a fine sheen. There’s virtually no way fans of Insomium can hear this and not go all loopy, and the best is yet to come. “Adrift” is a flat out exquisite work of art, merging emo goth like A Swarm of the Sun and modern Anathema into a New World Shadows style melo-death template. Sebastien’s clean and harsh vocals are perfect and the dreamy, laconic leads flowing in the background are things of a beauty.

Winter GloomThings get heavier on “Resurgence” and the jacked up but simplistic riffs blend well with the trilling harmonies to create an exceptional melo-death statement as good as any of their peers. “In Our Mind” is another slice of heaven, forcibly marrying excellent goth vocals to brutish death metal. The result is way more elegant and delicate than you’d expect, but man, it really works and the stellar guitar work sucks you in to its sad little world. “Echoes Master” is almost an exact replica of Rapture‘s classic style and the contrast of melodic, The Cure-esque riffing and the harsh roars is just as awesome now as it ever was. “Dreamtide” keeps the ice party going with one weepy guitar flourish after another and if you aren’t buried deep in the snows of sadness by the time this song ends, you may just live to see the Midvinterblot.

The album closes with a positively enthralling instrumental titled “Apex” and it’s one I can’t seem to stop playing. It utilizes the same somber acoustic segments Agalloch did so well in their salad days and also resembles the post-metal doom of Landforge. The whole thing is rich in mood and rife with depressive glory; understated but poignant and the guitar-work is stunning.

Without a weak moment anywhere, this is one of those albums that gets better with every single spin. There’s a lot to take in musically though the songs are very accessible. It’s the little details that keep catching your ear that make it so damn rewarding. The sound is also far better than the DR6 would indicate. It has a lush, expansive sound and the guitars definitely shine bright. Would I love to hear a DR10 vinyl rip? Hell yes, but this is quite amazing as is and I have no complaints about the mix.

Enshine_2015

Everything comes up aces here, but it’s Jari’s magical guitar playing that’s the big attraction. Borrowing from the very best of goth, doom, melo-death and even black metal, he’s created a wondrous tapestry of sadness and beauty here that few albums will ever equal. While the harder songs will remind many of recent Omnium Gatherum, there’s more than a little Rapture and October Tide in his playing and of course, the ghosts of Slumber are always near his fret-board. This guy is a genius at his kind of music and I cannot say enough good things about him. Sebastien Pierre also comes through big with some excellent vocals. His plaintive singing is tender and heartbreaking and his death roars are as convincing as anyone’s. This is a tour de force by two talented chaps and they’ve really created a career defining work here on Singularity.

A stupefyingly beautiful album from start to finish, Singularity is on a collision course with Record o’ the Year. If you love melodic doom-death and miss this, turn in your metal card and cred and leave the hall, for you good sir, are not my friend. Somewhere out there is a snowflake with your name on it. Get this before it finds you.


Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Rain Without End Records
Websites: enshine.bandcamp.com  | facebook.com/enshine.band
Releases Worldwide: October 18th 2015

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  • tomcio

    heard only two songs, available from the band’s bandcamp site. they are amazing. can’t wait till 10/18. i am hearing old (i.e. good) Opeth in Enshine’s music. love it.

    • Yeah, I can hear some Opeth in there too.

      • tomcio

        thanks for this review @Steel_Druhm:disqus. not sure where the hell i was in 2013 when this band came up with Origin. can’t think of any good excuse, unless it’s being busy chasing my kids around….:) either way Origin has been on repeat since this morning and it completely made my day!

        • My pleasure! Origin didn’t get much push or buzz sadly. Not surprised a lot of people missed it.

          • brutal_sushi

            I know for me I just kept waiting for a follow up from AtomA. They announced their break the same week Origin was available for streaming.

        • [not a Dr]

          Spheres. In 2013.
          They really were ahead of their times.

  • brutal_sushi

    YES FINALLY!!! I have been waiting for AMG to do a Jari Lindholm project. AtomA, Enshine, Slumber, Exgenesis, all gold! So glad that this is getting the shine is deservers.

    • It shines brightly!

    • unsound

      Don’t forget Seas Of Years!

      • brutal_sushi

        Yes yes yes!

  • Icki

    Awwwwwwww yeah, this sounds great! Being a relatively new metal listener, (a few years), I don’t remember knowing of Rapture or Slumber before either, so thanks a lot for those. I pretty much only know of past albums through the references in AMG reviews.

    Also, I’m aware of the policy of not liberally handing out high scores and not neglecting half of the available ratings etc, but this review reads a lot like a 5.0 if there ever was one. Just not quite special enough?

    • It was shockingly close to a 5.0, but if in doubt the policy is to grade down. So close though!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      For a 5.0 check out White Wizzard´s “The Devil’s Cut”.
      Kind of a running joke around here, the guy who reviewed had his nickname changed from Happy Metal Guy to Demoted Metal Guy or something…

      • Let’s not dwell on the past.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I told you before…It is OK to dwell in the past since the future is not what it used to be.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I told you before… It is OK to dwell in the past since the future is not what it used to be.

  • I thought Amorphis, or Lore, or Odin’s Court, or Sylosis would be competing for my AOTY but I might have to revise that immediately.

  • Simon Shrimpton

    I miss Rapture so much. Their style of depressive melody captivated me then and still.. this is sounding fair homage, although the vocals seem to dominate the sound a tad more than I’d like

    • Yeah, they were amazing. This reminds me a lot of what they did so well. It’s as close as we are going to get to a new Rapture album.

      • Simon Shrimpton

        From what I remember it’s mostly the same band as Shape of Despair and we had to wait over a decade for that.. My fingers will remain crossed! This sounds a much closer effort than Daylight Dies to whom they seem mostly compared.. Will be investing in this though for sure!

  • In my magical country we make melancholic arepas, so this depressive burrito is right up my alley!

    Have a good meal!

    *nomnomnomnom*

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Do you come from the country of Polar Light?

      • I come from a magical tropical land full of monsters.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          We might be paisanos

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    I was sold at Slumber. Need to check the debut too, never heard of these guys but they good.
    (First positive AMG comment?)

    • I was rushing to my elfic mobile device to share this to you, jajaja!

    • brutal_sushi

      Check out AtomA

      • funeraldoombuggy

        The AtomA album is awesome! Glad to see Lindholm getting some love around here. Just started following his projects a year or two ago and they are all great.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I’m getting The Fall of Every Season vibes from this. I like it.

  • John Mosley

    Played the two tracks on bandcamp. Evocative. More emotive than a pregnant schizophrenic lady off her lithium.

  • Excentric_1307

    Hmmmm, I bet if In Mourning got their songwriting together and wrote a perfect album, it’d sound a bit like this. I’m interested in hearing the whole album, now.

  • [not a Dr]


    Just listened to their other album.
    I’m buying everything.

    • Stu

      So am I :)

      A simply stunningly amazing album, quite the accidental find/click on youtube ;)

      Will be picking up everything on bandcamp and looking up his previous work as well.

      Apparently lots of good new listening to be had very soon!

      Best Regards

      m/

      • [not a Dr]

        I think they have a package deal now, a discount when you get everything at once.

  • funeraldoombuggy

    I loved their first record. Heard a teaser song from this and new it’d be a great follow up! Looking forward to the 18th where I can listen to it all!

  • nomrom3

    The perfect soundtrack for my 93 degree fall weather.

  • Meriyas

    After reading this review I know 3 things:
    1. I need to listen to more Enshine. I just started playing Origin and I’m loving it 2 songs in.
    2. I need to lookup Rapture
    3. I need to lookup Slumber
    So much value gained from reading this review. Cheers Steel.

    • Buy buy buy!

      • Meriyas

        I feel like you’re subtly hinting at something, I just can’t figure out what…

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I looked up Rapture at at the Metal Archives, and I see 11 bands that take that name (!). Where are they from, or better yet, could you please recommend some albums?

        • Finland. Their best albums are Songs for the Withering and Silent Stage, though Futile is really good too.

          • Hammersmith

            Silent Stage is probably my favourite of theirs, but all 3 of those are good.

          • brokenalarms

            I have never heard an album as melodoomy-catchy as Futile. One of my fave albums, can’t recommend enough.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Thanks SD. Will look into these.

    • robpal

      There is also Atoma, another Lindholm’s side project.

      • Meriyas

        Ahh yes, I saw other people commenting about AtomA. Definitely another one to look into.

    • Pedro Morini Mietto

      I’m on the same page you are.

  • Genezer

    Thanks for the review. It made me listen to New World Shadows for the first time, loved it!
    Listened to Enshine’s previous album, not too bad, but the song you embedded sounded more interesting, will wait for the whole album to show up on Spotify.

    • JL

      New World Shadows is one of the best albums of the past decade. An absolutely amazing work of art. Make sure to listen to Beyond, as well. Almost as good as NWS.

      • Hammersmith

        The Distance is fantastic. I saw them live recently – they played it – they are pretty tight live.

        • JL

          Ya I saw them a month or so ago and they were great.

  • JL

    Really good review. Heavy score, this 4.5… I hope the album lives up to my standards. Origin had flashes of brilliance but was somewhat inconsistent.

  • JL

    Make sure you guys check out Neurotech too if you like the atmospheric stuff. Songs like Infra, I are amazing.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    At first I thought you were talking about a different kind of Slumber.
    I am checking this out because of the glowing review but I have to say that what really closed the deal was the Manowar reference.
    From the review sounds like the kind of album we will regard as a classic ten years from now.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    This is probably as good a place as any to say: for those interested, Panopticon’s new album is now available.

  • Synthetase

    “Winter is coming…”

    Northern hemisphere chauvinist :P

  • Matt slatz

    Thanks for this, I was foolishly unaware of the
    absolute awesomeness of their music…..may the metal gods forgive me…….damn this is good

  • Luke_22

    Wow October is throwing some spanners in the works of the old year end lists. Great write-up, the sample track sounds very tasty indeed.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      October this year is comparable to…. Was it March when he had all those great releases?

  • Schmitzel

    I have to admit this sound brilliant, I wasn’t aware of this project of theirs. But I have to disagree with all the Slumber worship. Even though I love their album, I had the chance to see them live in a special show along with their new project Atoma. Slumber was one of the most lifeless performances I’ve witnessed, and completely killed the band for me. As for Atoma, as much as I wanted to like them, the terrible performance along with the out-of-tune whiny vocals, caused me to leave the show early (which is the only time I did it in all my years of concert going).

    But this, judging from the Origin album, this is something on a whole new level. Awesome review, and thank you for a new obsession Steel

  • The one thing to know about me is that my favourite band is Insomnium. So maybe I had little tears forming listening to this. Why didn’t I know about this band?
    Gonna listen to Origins until this one’s out. The embedded is beautiful.

    • madhare

      I was just going to say almost the same. As a huge fan of both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum it’s hard to understand how the hell I have missed these guys completely.

      But luckily it’s AMG to the rescue, once again. :D

  • You wot m8?

    I wish I had something clever to say here, but after listening to a bit of this all I can think is: “Damn, this is good.”

  • This is coming to my playlist right after the new Thy Catafalque (and I hope you will finally pay attention to it, it seems that it was never reviewed on AMG, and I wonder why:)

    • We got the promo a bit late.

      • sir_c

        better late than never, TC does deserve more attention

  • robpal

    Now I’m really pumped. Not that I wouldn’t be without this review… but expectations are HIGH.

  • I need this. Any comparisons to both Rapture and Slumber melt my frozen metal heart! I always found it interesting that the first track on Slumber’s only album is called “Rapture”! :)

    For anyone whose never heard Slumber, Mr. Druhm is not kidding that this is a sadly overlooked band who only made one album which you cannot even get anymore…until now:

    http://music.mikeeckman.com/share/yihxd

  • Martin Knap

    you can buy it on iTunes for about 4-5 dollars bdw.

    • BenMech

      Well Yes, but some also want a physical copy

  • CyberJesus

    Just listened to their other album, Origin, and was blown away! Can’t wait for Singularity!

  • Crapola

    Fuckin excellent band!

  • Arsath

    Exgenesis is another Jari Lindholm project that’s released a great album this year, Aphotic Veil. Glad to find this!

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    Great review. Knew this one was coming but I needed this reminder to know it was finally out there :) I liked Origins so I’ll probably like this as well.

    One tiny gripe from my part: you forgot to mention Sebastien Pierre was also involved in Inborn Suffering; which is among the bands he’s been involved in – Lethian Dreams, Fractal Gates, Enshine – easiest the best to me. Regression to Nothingness was as accessible and emotionally challenging as (melodic) funeral doom can get.

  • Eric Freely

    This is why I come to AMG daily, and It’s coming across gems like this. Seriously, this is fucking great. Nice review, too.

  • sir_c

    You had me at Slumber. That was my 2012 best-of-2004-discovery-of-the-year. This new Enshine album will go down pretty well during the dark October days, methinks.

  • This really is great! Could still be last months record of the month? Or, wait..

  • Hammersmith

    This album sounds like In the Halls of Awaiting mixed with Mass Effect. I very much approve.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Great review. This is a keeper!

  • Javier Truyol

    Loved Origin, Singularity is just as beautiful. Amazingly talented musicians, just don’t miss this…

  • tim.o

    “It’s a depressive burrito you’ve tasted before, but the secret sauce is the brilliant writing and the all-enveloping mood.”

    Right on. Another winner’s pick from the land of Druhm. You’ve introduced me to a plethora of new bands over the years that I’ve otherwise would have missed: Hammers of Misfortune, Lucrida, While Heaven Wept, to name but a few. Keep up the good work.

  • xengineofdeathx

    I really loved Slumber, and also like Atoma but felt they were lacking in some ways. I had no idea that the other guitarist of Slumber was doing anything though, and I’m fucking stoked that this band exists.