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Enchant - The Great Divide Award winner

Enchant
The Great Divide
by Matt Coe at 21 October 2014, 12:44 PM

Fortunate to check out this band from the ground running on their debut “Blueprint of the World” back in 1993, this Bay Area Progressive Rock act ENCHANT has steadily built a faithful following over the past few decades. Their sound originally was very reminiscent of many eras of RUSH from the 1970’s and 80’s, but I would say they’ve crafted their own niche in this style because of their songwriting dynamics and killer vocal presence from Ted Leonard. So excitement reigns when a new studio album hits the streets – and since we’ve been waiting for 11 years as “Tug of War” came out in 2003, to say anticipation has been high is an understatement.

Opening amidst a swirl of keyboards, “Circles” settles into a comfortable Progressive meets Pop groove, the bridge vocal harmonies from Ted and Douglas giving the song a little bit of an outer space QUEEN meets KING’S X pull. Where ENCHANT excel in my view is where they decide to push their Progressive elements – while still maintaining a foundation for hook and chord/riff retention. It can be as simple as Douglas’ opening guitar sequence for “Within an Inch” that allows the rhythm section of Ed Platt and Sean Flanegan more of a free flow opening to be intricate and jazzy, featuring a natural piano solo from Bill that I felt was part Billy Joel , part STEELY DAN. Or the slower, sultry groove nature of “All Mixed Up” where the vocal melody seems to tightly flow especially during the chorus with the up and down natural of the guitars and drums.

Sometimes less is more when it comes to this genre – you can showcase your proficiency in small doses, incorporating interesting time signature maneuvers or musical interplay that builds and then breaks off into moodier terrain. “Transparent Man” and “Deserve to Feel” are two of the best songs on “The Great Divide” that put these ideas into practice – be it rhythmically, weaving textures sonically in and out, or just the high caliber melody and phrasing choices, these all help to keep every song fresh and ENCHANT in rarefied territory as a Progressive Rock band.

Another exemplary album from the quintet, “The Great Divide” will assuredly get consistent airplay for years to come from all Progressive Rock fans. ENCHANT will not disappoint.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Circles
2. Within an Inch
3. The Great Divide
4. All Mixed Up
5. Transparent Man
6. Life in a Shadow
7. Deserve to Feel
8. Here and Now
Lineup:
Ted Leonard – Vocals, Guitar
Douglas Ott – Guitars, Vocals
Bill Jenkins – Keyboards
Ed Platt – Bass
Sean Flanegan – Drums
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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Edited 22 November 2019
 

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