Oh, what a fool I have been… Once, I believed my own open-mindedness to be a virtue, one which could help me expose the world to musical truths they might otherwise never learn. Once, I believed myself able to see past the veils and charades of societal labels, to be able to transcend the likes of religious affiliation in order to experience art for art’s sake. Once, I believed that I could overcome any element of musical unpleasantness if the rest of the material was strong enough. I have loved the likes of Mos Def, Flyleaf, and Ghost Bath, and felt no shame. Once, I believed all this to be enough to allow me to find redemption in any kind of music… until I heard Enzo and the Glory Ensemble’s In the Name of the Son. I had to accept a cold, hard truth that I have spent many years championing against: some stuff is just as bad as it sounds like it will be. On that note, let’s talk about the neo-symphonic Christian metal album that I’m about to ruin your day with.

First of all, I can’t unburden my soul with lamentations of this aural assault without conceding that it was delivered unto me at the hands of musicians most educated and skillful; any album blessed with the presence of artists such as Kobi Farhii (Orphaned Land), Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Warlord) and Marty Fuckin Friedman — just to name a few of Enzo’s apostles — will inherently contain complex, intricate material. Material which truly requires some serious talent and education to compose and execute. Yay verily, Enzo himself hath studied piano, composition and classical guitar, as well as having composed, directed and acted in a few operatic pieces. Indeed, this particular cheese’s Christ superstar wears a coat of many accomplished colors, and it would be wildly unfair of me to damn this offering, the follow-up to 2015’s In the Name of the Father, as being one of poor musical quality. No, Enzo and co. know exactly what they’re doing with this particular collection of hymns, psalms, and prayer set to 11.

Unfortunately, if you can imagine an over-the-top Broadway production praising God through ‘safe’ metal moments buried under Disney vocals and painfully glaring lighting arrangements, then you also know exactly what Enzo and friendos are doing. I was anxious but determined to be optimistic as opener “Waiting for the Son” wandered in with a cheerful, building atmosphere of strings and woodwinds, tastefully fading back for a moment to reveal a brief, snaking guitar line before segueing into the next track. After that, all Hell broke loose. Classic arrangements, symphonic flare-ups alongside decidedly driven guitar/drum passages, folk instrumentation entwined with modern metal melodies, all this and more…

…laid to utter ruin by every vocal moment of the album. Power metal stylings are simply not my cup of tea, so let me be the first to admit that I’m probably not the right Muppet for this job, but I’m pretty confident that many of you will agree that things got taken a bit too far on this one. Whether it’s the obnoxiously angelic choir of “The Tower of Babel” or Enzo’s own Disney-villain nasal musings, nearly every vocal performance feels forced, rather than felt, and overdone to boot. The female vocals on “Glory to God” are a decidedly welcome exception to this dilemma, and “Psalm 133” crafts a folk/metal/classical/Jesus combo that actually works, but that’s about the extent of my praise here, and neither are enough to save …the Son.

To be fair, this album would be a good instrumental offering, possibly even great. The mix is as clear and dynamic as one should expect of such experienced, well-trained musicians, and the compositions themselves are often incredibly strong. The inspiration and passion are very much alive and well within the music, but the vocal performances by and large made it impossible for me to listen for too terribly long. I went into this with an almost painfully open mind — I wanted to like this, damn it, but it just didn’t happen. However, subjectivity, ya know?. Don’t take my word for it, listen for yourself. The instrumentation and compositional execution are undeniably top notch, and it’s entirely possible that many of you may even love the vocal performances found on …the Son. I, however, did not1


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Rockshots Records
Websites: enzodonnarumma.com | facebook.com/enzoandtheglory
Releases Worldwide: September 29th, 2017

 

Show 1 footnote

  1. Sinner. – Steel

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    GUIDO AND THE GLORY HOLE OR GTFO

    • Czech Czort

      You are precious

    • Grymm

      Someone get this container a job with us, please and thank you.

      • Too brutalist for AMG.

        • [not a Dr]

          HE COULD BE THE PROMO BIN.

          • Name’s Dalton

            I just died

      • Master of Muppets

        No joke, I’ve imagined BR reviews. He could be our Ollie.

      • Eldritch Elitist

        Can you imagine his/her/its year-end list? Brualist_Receptacle’s Brutal List Receptacle.

  • herrschobel

    that name is so dumb…-3.0 for lack of humility and that shitty crucifix … sorry christian lads !

  • Master of Muppets

    “Ya know”?! I yo tastefully and strategically, this censorship is preposterous. Quick, I need a Social Justice Warrior!

    • You’ve used up your yo allotment for 2017 and 2018.

      • wayne the devil

        Good thing he aint Rocky Balboa…….think of the sentence fragments then..

      • Master of Muppets

        I gotta be me!

    • Ferrous Beuller

      Suffer the Slicehammer. He comes to us all.

  • wayne the devil

    I probably shouldn’t comment. Good to know I am precious though. Shit, that was a comment. Die for Satan!!! Die for Satan!!!
    PS-A Fair review Sir, all things considered.

    • Master of Muppets

      Thanks Mr. Devil, it took a lot out of my very being, but I really did try. May none of you have to suffer as I have.
      You could say that part of me died for you heathens, then feel free to worship me accordingly.

      • wayne the devil

        Your Metal ears have died for our sins! May your stigmata’s always glow like radio active fruit loops!

  • Grymm

    I look at the band name and I can’t help but think about the worst pro wrestler of our generation.

    • metalcasket

      BADA BOOM, REALEST CHRISTIAN IN THE ROOM!

      • Grymm

        How ya doin’?

        • metalcasket

          Well, what’ve we got over here? A cuppa prayers? A cuppa prayers?

          I’ll show myself out.

      • Kain Hellraiser

        And you can’t teach that!

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Is he a certified G? Perhaps even a bonafide stud? Skilled in ways that one simply cannot learn, because they cannot be taught?

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        HE WEARS MACRAME

        • [not a Dr]

          And passes god’s message of hope by writing it on his Star Trek hand. Unless that is some variant of the shocker of which I’m not aware…

    • André Snyde Lopes
      • Grymm

        I will never tire of seeing this. Ever.

    • The Nerd.

      He’s been doing a lot better since his heel turn.

      Seeing him roast the Cruiserweights has been almost as much fun as watching the cruiserweights beating him up.

      He’s still terrible in the ring though

      Also never thought I’d be talking wrestling on AMG

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      He might not be much of a wrestler, but he’s a great, great shit-talker, which sometimes matters more.

  • Embedded track is actually pretty damn good. Vocals are buried and work well. Sounds like this is one of the stronger tracks though judging by your review. I’m afraid to hear the rest. Certainly better than any other christian stuff you’ve reviewed here.

    Band photo makes me want to shoot myself in the face.

    • wayne the devil

      And the still photo with the twin camel asses….nice.

      • I don’t see an issue. There is no anus visibilty due to strategically placed tails.

  • Anarchist

    As someone who actively enjoys power metal, you’re not wrong – the vocals are actively detracting from the music in a big way.

    • Master of Muppets

      I did everything I could to give it a fair go and ignore my own anti-power preferences for the sake of an honest review, and I think I gave the music the credit it deserves, but I just can’t fathom why anyone would want to sing/listen to singing like that.

  • Tanuki

    I’ll never listen to this again, but I’ll also never forget the yodelling choir.

    • Master of Muppets

      Scars are funny like that.

  • We’re all precious.

  • herrschobel

    squeezing in Mos Def into this review deserves an extra credit for the fine young man who crafted this nice review.

    • Master of Muppets

      Variety: it’s the spice of life, yo.

      • -1 yo for 2019.

        • Master of Muppets

          I will yo until the cows come home, though I could be calmed into a lull of yo’s if someone would be so kind as to end that final sentence with they magic editorial admin powers, yo.
          Til then, yo is me.

          • Nukenado

            Yo is “I” in Spanish, after all.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    To lift a line from Woody Allen, I would say unto this album: be fruitful and multiply…. But not in those words.

    • I think there’s already enough fruit and cheese on this plate.

      • Master of Muppets

        It’s nothing but! I’ve forgiven exes more easily than I ever could this. It’s 100% Muppet repellant.

        • WhamBamSam

          And yet you couldn’t go any harsher than a 2.5. You’re too soft, Muppet!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Well, as I said once before: no paradise here by the cheeseboad knife.

  • VenusAdonis

    Holy shit, you really weren’t kidding. If there was an instrumental version of this album I could probably be down with it but in its present state the vocals do not work at all.

    • Master of Muppets

      Just imagine enduring a whole album of that… I genuinely like most of “Glory to God”, but the rest of this is just… Ugh.

  • The Unicorn
    • Name’s Dalton

      SHHHTAAAP!

    • Tofu muncher

      this site is precocious

  • Septic
    • Name’s Dalton

      I just died again

  • Jim Bob

    The band photo makes me feel like such a special boy.

  • Wilhelm

    I had no idea that was Marty Friedman’s middle name

    • Master of Muppets

      I’m here to educate.

  • That embedded tack makes me giddy

    The track makes me happy too

  • Cherd

    This guy’s picture reminds me of when people end up looking like their pets.

  • Nag Dammit

    The end of the embedded song sounds like an outtake from Team America. Valmorphanize!

  • I.B. Hurtin

    “It’s the circle of life…” good comparison with Disney male vocals. Donny Osmond wasn’t available for this? As a Christian, I would love to find some dark as lower-case-hell metal that doesn’t suck. This is happy shit and it sucks.

    • basenjibrian

      Wash out your ears with some Wovenhand. As misotheistic as I am, even I can admit Wovenhand is awesome (live he is amazing). Definitely scary shit, although one would expect that from hard core Calvinists.

      • Cherd

        This is a great recommendation. David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand, 16 Horespower) isn’t metal, but has dark intensity in spades. And live he’s a man possessed

    • IBlackened

      Listen to Antestor or Crimson Moonlight.

    • Nukenado

      Departé has not spoken on the matter, but their lyrics have a really, really strong Christian undertone.
      If you like fucked up black metal then try them.

  • dromneb

    I read that stuff on his hand as “You are delicious,” I’d probably respect him more for that

  • Swordborn

    I actually did some PR work for the first album, even though it’s not signed to our label. Though I am Catholic (Enzo and the Glory Ensemble can legitimately be called “Catholic” metal, I think, of which there is precious little), I have the same issue as Mr. Muppet. Instrumentally this album is good to great in places, but I can’t in good faith enjoy Enzo’s vocals – even singing bible verses and prayers that I’m familiar with.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Christian or no…..this is just subpar.

  • Dagoth_RAC

    I think George Carlin once made a joke about, “The only good thing to come out of religion is the music.” And I think that holds true if we are talking about Renaissance polyphony like Josquin and Ockeghem, Bach’s dozens of cantatas, Haydn’s 6 late masses, the Berlioz Requiem, Bruckner’s Te Deum, more modern stuff like Penderecki and Arvo Part, etc., etc. Heck, even something like Coltrane’s jazz classic, “A Love Supreme”, can be considered religious music.

    But this? Nope. This could turn God into an atheist.

  • Brian Hudson

    The cringe is real in Enzo’s photo though…makes me want to turn on Lawless Darkness and blast it to give myself some unredemption.

  • sir_c

    You are precious! Everybody is a winner!
    No.

  • Danny

    I’ve always found there to be something bizarrely rebellious about metal bands who are explicitly positive and/or religious in their approach. In a genre where the race to the bottom over who could be the most sacrilegious and psychopathic was won by a certain Scandinavian black metal scene in the 90’s, its a lot more transgressive and challenging to bring that kind of explicitly positive energy to your music. Even so-called “happy metal” bands like Sonata Arctica and Co. usually tend to have negative or tragic lyrics.

    I don’t mind the embedded track, but it also doesn’t really grab me. Nothing wrong with the vocals, though

    • Master of Muppets

      While admittedly atheistic, myself, I find that a lot of theistic/worship music kicks total ass when it’s coming from a place of legitimate devotion, as passion is passion no matter where it comes from; I will always give all music more than its fair shot for the sake of objectivity, and I tend to be more for Christian metal than the average kvlt consumer as a result, but this… This is irreconcilable, there is no defence that could make me think I was unfair in my judgment here, and that brings me no joy.

  • Shane R

    That is awful. There is way too much going on and most of it is not working.

    • Master of Muppets

      Instrumentally, there’s plenty going on that works, even to an anti-power guy like me. The vocals just ruin it 99% of the time.

  • Nukenado

    DREW DREW DREW NEW HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY BEGINNNG OF NEXT YEAR

    Oh, right. This music… I don’t hate the vocals, but the music’s way too happy.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    So, next album is going to be “In the name of the Holy Spirit” right?

    • Master of Muppets

      Thematically, it would stand to reason. However, if there is a God, there will be no third album.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        There must be no God then, otherwise why did he allow the first two?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Master of Muppets wrote this and didn’t think of calling the guy Gonzo instead of Enzo?

    • Master of Muppets

      Of course not, I like that dude and would never besmirch his name by associating it with this noise.
      The very thought.

  • AgonMcDuck

    TUNAK TUNAK
    TUNAK TUNAK TUNAK
    TUNAK TUNAK TUNAK
    TUN DAH DAH DAH