Review: ENEPSIGOS “Plague of Plagues”

Review: ENEPSIGOS “Plague of Plagues”

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ENEPSIGOS “Plague of Plagues”
Drakkar Productions

Enepsigos may sound like a highly infectious disease contracted from the suffocating climate of the Amazonian Rainforest but it is in fact a two-headed female demon.

It’s also the name of a Norwegian black metal band whose latest album Plague of Plagues has just been unleashed by enterprising French label, Drakkar Productions.

The slightly uncomfortable impression created by the mysterious cover artwork is reciprocated once the gloves come off. Some eerie haunting chants pepper the introduction, followed by some wartime-like radio messages. Then the gloves come off and an explosion of nuclear proportions erupts through your speakers at machine gun velocity.

The album’s furious title track pretty much feels as though the cloven hoofed demon himself has just entered the room, as a rancid, rabid, riffage outbreak sends raucous rhythms spiralling in all directions under a blackened cloud of weird and warped soundshapes.

By the time vocalist V.I.T.H.R. makes his first contribution we’re holding on tight as Enepsigos announce themselves with an almighty thunderclap

The Norwegians have their own style, distinct from many of their countrymen, and incorporate death and thrash elements into their bubbling cauldron of fury without ever quite residing in either camp. The tone is blackened and so raw that it comes with a Government health warning.

That’s not to say they aren’t in control, and ‘Rütne Engler’ has a rasping riff hairier than your granny’s bush that brilliantly sustains the album’s second song, further bolstered by some high end whines.

Plague of Plagues demands a little of your time as only by fully giving yourself over to its punishing and pungent grooves that all its many and varied nuances can be explored and appreciated.

Intensity levels rarely drop and drummer Thorns must have his arms propelling like a Victorian windmill as he goes round and around with his bloodied blastbeats and rat-a-tat-tat kicks that only occasional drop in tempo.

While satanic fuelled throughout, ‘Pagan Rites’ sees them Enepsigos enter some different territory although the musical intensity is just the same, meaning that after just three songs you feel like the air is draining from your body. Pass the inhaler.

While the band aren’t giving much away on the personnel front, it seems that V.I.T.H.R. is actually the acclaimed Norwegian artist Doedsadmiral just in a different shade of corpsepaint. He’s known via his association with a number of Scandi extreme metal crews, most notably of late, Nordjevel.

The third and final band member is Straff who supplies the guitar and bass lines, although I’m guessing not at the same time. It is Straff’s well executed threads that add an element of warmth to ‘The Cold Bones’, without actually putting too much meat on them.

While ‘Manifestum’ is essentially another mighty serving of blackened barbarism it ends with a grand monastic chant almost as though we’ve been joined by a cloak-wearing group of Franciscan Monks. The deep-bellied groans and moans don’t so much as stop as fade, without any evidence of a join, into the following ‘Massedrapssalmer.’

Not only will this win you plenty of points in a game of Scrabble, Massedrapssalmer’ is also by far the doomiest number on the album. Here at last Enepsigos slow things down, without losing any of the gravitas or depth that their sound generates. If anything for doom lovers this is probably the pick of Plague of Plagues, a masterful marauding heavy hammer of a song punctured by a Sabbathian riff that threads its way through the aural anxiety like a cobra stalking a rat.

‘Ghoul’ sees Enepsigos up the ante once more, this song stretching across eight minutes of sinewed riff attacks and bile inducing vocal barks. By the time we reach closer ‘Askenatt’ the trio sound on the verge of self-combustion as every element of the deranged composition is stretched and pulled to its limits, collectively creating an insane channel through which shards of savagery can be detected amidst the hellish mania.

It may be that at an hour, music of such vicious intensity is hard to digest in one sitting. So maybe a midway breather will help some stay the distance.

 

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Score 70%
Summary
70 %
User Rating : 2.8 (4 votes)