There is very little information available about who Enmeshed is, other than that they are a four piece band, releasing their debut album The Egesal. With an interesting setup, including electroacoustic guitar, drums (alongside drum machines) and tenor electric guitar, they like to blend diverse sounds, within an overall experimental extreme doom setting. Their vision for The Egesal is quite ambitious, ranging from their perspective on genre blending as well as their themes, which point towards a fairly spiritual attribute.
At first glance, The Egesal captures a fair amount of doom metal and its subdivisions. The amount of distortion and the dirt that Enmeshed conjure certainly points towards sludge, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Elements of funeral doom are apparent throughout this album, from the glacial pace to the ritualistic elements, as well as aspects of doom/death, especially in the guitar work, achieving both dissonant and melodic extensions with some emotion to go along. That is where the industrial aspect begins to rise and it fits perfectly with the funeral doom pace, managing to bring a colder, more detached element to the stage.
There are a couple of minor twists that Enmeshed incorporate in order to separate their sound from the doom, or even metal, world. The first is a degree of psychedelia, which even though it does not go full-blown, is able to bring a mesmerizing effect to the table. Originating from hypnotic melodies and hazy vocal deliveries, it operates as a slight addition to make the process more interesting. More dominant though is the noise element in The Egesal. On one hand, the band makes use of noise in order to create an interesting background setting, filled with razorsharp artifacts, but they are also apply ample distortion over their guitars, drum machines and vocals, creating a huge sonic wall in the process.
However, what is truly interesting in the case of The Egesal is the band's improvisational tendency. Now, this is something that not many doom or extreme doom bands incorporate in their music, and Enmesehd actually go as far as stating that the majority of the recordings was actually improvised. And just to be clear, this is not the improv found in drone albums, Enmeshed improvise their doom metal leads in this case. Even though this is a very daring move it does not fully pay off. Sure, the unpredictability and off-kilter element is suitable alongside the remaining influences and sides of the band, but there are parts where the improvisational feel seems a bit pushed and awkward. There are of course other moments when the absolutely work, but there is a slight imbalance from one moment to the next, as in the ending of “A Thousand Redeemers.”
The Egesal is still a valiant effort, and definitely one of the more unique records of extreme doom/death. Traditional elements appear, extreme extensions are spot on, aspects of noise and psychedelia, industrial machinations and improvisational overtures are all mixed to create an interesting album.
7.0 / 10
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