Enochian Crescent - Black Church - 2006 - Woodcut Records
1. Tatan 2. Tango Absinto 3. Chalk Face 4. Thousand Shadows 5. Ghost of Saturn 6. The Imperfect Vision 7. Hendekagrammaton 8. Tridents Clash 9. Black Church
Like many other black metal bands hailing from Finland, Enochian Crescent don’t play a purely old-school influenced, stick-to-the-rules style black metal. Instead, they go by a more aggressive formula characterized by lots of gang vocals and fast, angry-sounding riffs. Even with this somewhat interesting formula, however, “Black Church” manages to come off as pretty unremarkable.
The problem with “Black Church” is not the style with which Enochian Crescent have approached black metal. Rather, their take is very interesting and original to a point. Not a lot of bands are able to convey pure energy in a black metal setting without coming off as crust or punk influenced, such as Impaled Nazarene. However, after listening to “Black Church” straight through several times, it becomes clear that Enochian Crescent’s creativity pretty much stopped here. Unfortunately, there is little to no variation within the record itself, save a couple of tracks. “Thousand Shadows,” clearly the album’s highlight, contains some pretty impressive riffing and vocal arrangements. Other songs, such as “Tatan” and “The Imperfect Vision,” for example, are barely distinguishable from each other, save their fairly catchy choruses. In fact, the choruses of pretty much every song is structured in more or less the same way, leading to more monotonous conformity.
“Black Church,” like many other modern black metal albums, has some problems. What’s interesting is that Enochian Crescent is in a situation that mirrors that of many other contemporary bands. Instead of sounding like every other band out there, they sound pretty unique. But, with that said, they cannot break out of the narrow mold that they’ve set for themselves as far as songwriting and structure go. This is a real shame, since this band seems to have a lot of potential to make really interesting music, but instead doesn’t do all that great of a job. “Black Church” isn’t a terrible album, but it lacks the diversity to be better than deathly average.
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