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Enrapture – Another Green Drought

Enrapture
Another Green Drought
by Gary Hernandez at 23 February 2021, 11:06 PM

ENRAPTURE, the Norwegian Prog Metal band not the general sense of euphoria, formed back about nine years ago as a trio. By 2015 they had expanded to a foursome and released their suitably titled debut EP, “Embarkment.” Some six years later, on January 15, 2021 to be exact, they released their first full-length album, “Another Green Drought.” It’s forty-five minutes and eight tracks of sharp edges, raspy as well as clean vocals, and harmonic though visceral melodies.

There are a couple of things that threw me off about this band. First, the band’s name insinuates something Folk or at least Psych, but they are neither. The album title suggests maybe Stoner and Pagan. Not sure about the Pagan, but definitely not Stoner. The album cover art by Lasse Marhaug whispers Black Metal or maybe Cosmic Doom — but again, nope and nope. And even the categorization of Prog and Post-Metal pivot you in an off-leading direction. What it comes down to is the band is the band and their music is their music. They are, however, decidedly Metal, no denying that. And they do plumb some deep lyrical depths, so let’s call it a thinking person’s Metal.

If you approach this album as a collection of eight individual tracks, it’s not nearly as satisfying as when taken as one large cohesive narrative. With that said, the album also has the feel that it was made for vinyl with each “side” comprising four tracks each and neatly split with an interlude each. I bring up the interludes because they seem to bear an organizing influence on the entire album. The first interlude, track three, is “Fra Elvebredd” (trans: from a riverbed), a peaceful acoustic-ish piece with drifting guitar flourishes that truly do feel fluid. The second interlude, track six, is “Malstrom,” a short instrumental differing from the first interlude in its insistent vortex of heavy momentum. Where “Fra Elvebredd” infers free-floating, “Malstrom” infers, both musically and by namesake, something much more destructive in nature.

So, taking the album in halves, the first half starts off as chaotic and harsh. Maybe it’s just coming to terms with all the sharps and flats, shifting tempos, and the harsh vocals, or maybe it’s intentionally cooked into the songwriting and composition. By the time interlude of track three comes up, you feel relieved to take a break from the aggression. Track four, “Floodwaters and the Desert,” brings back some of the aggression but perhaps toned down a bit, ending on a slow fade.

What I would term as the second half kicks off with “Pillar in the Dust Cloud” which features clean vocals layered in soft harmonies. The entire composition of this track feels different. While still heavy and assertive, it feels more textured. “Malstrom” then introduces a massive thematic shift which “Groundswell” solidifies. Not to be reductive but think OPETH (“Ghost Reveries” era) meets THE SWORD (“Warp Riders” era). These two tracks are by far my favorites on the album. The final track, “Dredge,” benefits from the halo effect of the previous two tracks and also brings back the feel from “Badlands,” giving the album a nice sense of closure.

I approached “Another Green Drought” with some reservation. Sometimes listening to Prog can be like eating fiber — complex and reputedly good for you but pretty much without flavor and joy. ENRAPTURE proved me wrong, thankfully because fiber also has other aftereffects that music should never induce. This is a rich, thoughtful album that bears repeating.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Badlands
2.  Year One
3.  Fra en Elvebredd
4.  Floodwaters and the Desert
5.  Pillars in the Dust Cloud
6.  Malstrøm
7.  Groundswells
8.  Dredge
Lineup:
Lars Løseth Takle – Drums
Alexander Fossen Lange – Guitars
Fredrik Schjerve – Vocals, guitars
Ole Oma Dahle – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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