ENTHEAN — Priests of Annihilation (review)

ENTHEAN — Priests of Annihilation album cover Album · 2016 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Though the results aren't always what I'd hope them to be, when an album has a striking cover artwork like Priests of Annihilation (2016), the debut album of US extreme metal act Enthean, does, it makes it an album I want to check out. I found this album by sifting though all the promos I'd been sent, far too many for any one person to keep track of, and thought 'oh, now that one looks interesting'. And sure enough, although such a reaction doesn't pay off every time, this one sure is an interesting debut from the US trio, who previously released the demo Tones of Desecration (2013), then as a four-piece.

With a sound that is best described as being primarily a technical death metal album clashing with strong influences from progressive metal, symphonic metal and black metal, Priests of Annihilation comes across as a really epic sounding work of extreme metal music. There are times when I'm reminded of artists as distinct as MaYaN and Winterhorde, but Enthean certainly have their own thing going for them here, showcasing strong musicianship, an ear for melody and an adventurous attitude that it's a pleasure to get seduced by. The vocals are mostly done in a deep growling that again puts the album more on the death metal side than the black metal side. There are also some clean-ish vocals notably on the opening track 1054, as this is the very first vocal style heard on the album. The music is well polished and all flows well across the eight tracks. Dysthnasia is an easy personal favourite, while Invalesc de Profundis, the closer, is also worth a name drop, but there are no low points across the release.

With such a powerful debut album as Priests of Annihilation under their belt Enthean look all set to take 2016 by storm. All it needs is for people to sit up and start paying attention. And to my ears at least this young band deserves all the attention they can get.
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