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Aenigmatum - Aenigmatum Award winner

Aenigmatum
Aenigmatum
by Chris Hawkins at 18 February 2019, 3:01 PM

AENIGMATUM formed in early 2017.  This self-titled debut features songs that have been written as much as twelve years prior to the band forming.  The band combines elements of all sides of Extreme Metal to form their challenging, aggressive, and enthralling sound.

The first track, simply titled “Intro,” is an extended trip of insanity.  Strange and demented sounds spiral through the speakers enveloping the listener in the mire.  It presents the perfect exposition for the chaos due to transpire as the album progresses.

Lashed and Scorned,” the third track, begins with blasting while the guitar blends an AT THE GATES-type riff with more classic Death Metal techniques.  Soon, though, a more traditional approach is taken with tremolo picking accented by palm-muting.  The double picking employed is fierce to say the least as it is easy to be dazzled at the vast array of techniques employed by each guitarist.  This isn’t reserved merely for the six strings for the drums throw down with an onslaught of various rhythms and fills to really drive the song.  Underneath it all, the bass lurks with a clean sound that is obese and punchy.  It hits at just the right frequency to compliment the guitars and allow its presence to be firmly known.  The breakdown toward the latter half of the song is mind-blowing, brutal, for when one thinks one riff cannot be topped, the ante is then upped, a pattern repeated as the song progresses along.

The fifth track, “Indoctrination,” starts out with a riff that could pass as later-era MAYHEM.  The minor chords set the grim Black Metal-like mood and hearing the bass creating its own rhythms and counter-rhythms underneath enhances the song.  When things slow down, it in no way gets boring but instead provides a satisfying contrast to the other sections.  The latter half of the song is extremely aggressive with a classic feel, though the guitars still rip insane arpeggios between chords.  This band has thought out these songs and the correct approach to take for it has a vibe all their own.

This is quite an enjoyable debut album.  There are a lot of vibes at work here.  Parts are reminiscent of DEATH, others of GORGUTS, and there are elements of Grindcore like HUMAN REMAINS, along with some of the more technical side of Black Metal a la EMPEROR.  The greatest advantage this band has working for them is absolutely killer tone.  The guitars are heavy, saturated with gain, yet all the notes in the chords ring out effectively.  When they switch from chords to single notes, the volume does not drop.  The attention to detail spent on the tone of all the instruments, in fact, is admirable.  The production is definitely top-notch – unique in its presentation of this band.  In the way that the production of classic ENTOMBED or MORBID ANGEL is all their own presenting a recognizable signature sound, is the end result of this production.  For such a relatively new band to truly have their own sound is quite the feat.  Discovering bands like this is one of the biggest perks of this job, and AENIGMATUM is indeed an exciting find.

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  9





4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. GöL+Ñnigmatum
3. Lashed and Scorned
4. Boundless
5. Indoctrination
6. Interitus

Lineup:
Kelly McLaughlin – Guitars, Vocals
Eli Lundgren – Guitars
Brian Rush – Bass
Pierce Williams – Drums

Record Label: Independent
     


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