Enisum – ‘Seasons of Desolation’ (Album Premiere)
Black metal aficionados who have disdain for the subgenre's "post" movement, please know that it poses no threat. It only proposes an alternative interpretation of black metal's tenets: hyperbolic climaxes, unkempt fury, and structural drama. As such, post-black metal's distinctive brand departs from tradition, involving progressive elements with plushier emotionalisms. If bands like Wolves In The Throne Room fortified the movement, Enisum helped sharpen it. Over a decade in the running, Enisum will release their fifth full-length Seasons Of Desolation next week. Stream the entire album below.
Inside, you'll discover the mellow interludes and downtrodden aesthetics which made similar band Heretoir's recent release such a success. Enisum, clearly faster and heavier though, invokes Wolves in the Throne Room-style swaths of blast beats minus the pseudo-ritualism. Interspersed throughout are clean-vocal breaks and delicate ascensions charging toward satisfying denouements. Like most other post-black metal, the structure champions orange-hoisting highs, but does not disallow moody introspection. Seasons Of Desolation captures this approach and, to its benefit, doesn’t seek to revolutionize it.
Track titles are often overlooked as indications of an album's overall feel. "Autumn Of Melancholy," "Nameless Sadness," and "Lake Of Tears" characterize Seasons Of Desolation well and are its standouts. Enisum taps into our inner selves through despondency and isolation, the knee-jerk emotions turned state-of-being under the weight of the real pain of existence. Simply accessing this pain (which is the tough/musical part) works to soothe it. Yet this must be performed without damaging the fury necessary to combat it. Such is the nature of post-black metal.
Compounding Seasons Of Desolation's therapeutic qualities is an adept drum performance, as well as dynamic screams which modulate seamlessly with the album's peaks and valleys. Enisum withholds nothing in its reliance on switchbacks between drum-centric passages and choruses full of protracted growling and lead riffing. The entire album feels charged and chock full of itself, such that every moment feels designed for maximum effect and nothing less. Dare it be said: it even has attitude and groove.
The question then becomes if you crank everything, is anything really cranked anymore? Some post-black metal bands rely almost exclusively on texture/variety built into walls of noise, allowing them to play at total maximum without boring listeners. Enisum bridges this methodology with the clear-cut approach of offering up actual melodies whose evolution the listener can chart. The end result are semi-abstract tracks which feel constantly in flux, tied together with the right dose of predictability.
What Seasons Of Desolation lacks in experimentation it makes up for in sheer quality. There's plenty to be said of bands who present something entirely different. Bands who present something entirely familiar, though still interesting, sometimes have the tougher job. As Enisum demonstrates, it falls on keen musicianship and songwriting. Seasons Of Desolation is resolutely a "sub-genre" album, and therein lies its demonstrable proficiency and unabashed appeal.