Eneferens — The Bleakness Of Our Constant
Just a little over a year after releasing an acoustic EP, Eventide (review), Minnesota-based one-man post-black metal project Eneferens is back with its second full-length album. Where the Eventide EP was released in the wake of the project having a bunch of its gear stolen, The Bleakness Of Our Constant exudes a different, more generalised sense of foreboding discomfort. The album's notes state that it was created during 'trying times,' and the material is certainly in line with this — especially in moments such as the haunting, final minutes of "Weight Of The Mind's Periapt." I can't tell if his wife died or his girlfriend left him, the narrative is ambiguous but no less affecting.
I would characterise the music on this album is morose, rather than outright depressing. The melodies tug at the heart strings but things never get so over-the-top and dour as to make it difficult to take seriously. The acoustic EP experiment seems to have really helped in the vocal department; the clean singing on this album is better executed and lends a haunting quality to already emotionally heavy song-writing. The Bleakness Of Our Constant feels like a perfect fusion of Eventide and the project's debut album, In The Hours Beneath — a pair of albums I thoroughly enjoyed. Despite not drastically changing the Eneferens sound, this record feels in every way superior to all of the project's past efforts.
Across the album's 7 tracks — of which "11:34" is an instrumental segue — is base of heavy, melodic metal riffing that weaves a whole host of styles together, including a significant amount of acoustic guitar. The resulting combination reminds me a lot of Deafheaven in how seamlessly everything blends and progresses. The production and mixing are excellent, the riffs are thick and crushing when needed, while the leads are crisp and clear. I really appreciate the live drum kit on this record, as so many one-man projects feature electronic kits and / or obvious sample replacement. The vocals are sparse, and many of them cleanly sung — with a low, death metal style growl making up the rest — but lend the appropriate emotional weight when employed.
The whole of this album speaks to a vastly matured song-writer, as Eneferens manages to produce a record that improves on their last effort in every way. The Bleakness Of Our Constant really dials back the black metal influences, but the resulting combination of post-black and melodic metal is far more expressive and sonically rich than I was expecting. The Bleakness Of Our Constant has everything firing on all cylinders: a great mix, powerful song-writing and emotionally charged performances make for a true sleeper hit of the year.
Sophomore albums don't get much stronger than this. The Bleakness Of Our Constant sees American post-black metal project Eneferens improving all aspects of the project's craft. Sonically and emotionally crushing, this album is steeped in a feeling of precarity and loss, conveying a tale of harrowing emotion — often without even using words. Hewing to the folk-heavy side of the post-black spectrum, I give this album top marks and highly recommend it to fans of atmospheric metal genres. In crowded niche genres, records like this deserve every bit of attention they can get.
Release date: October 26th, 2018
Record label: Nordvis Produktion
Jori Adepaile — everything
- This Onward Reach
- Weight Of The Mind's Periapt
Published: October 29th, 2018.