Ensepulchred
The Night Our Rituals Blackened the Stars

In my recent quest to expand my ambient, bleak, depressive black metal horizons, I’ve been pretty much lapping up everything I can find in the sordid underbelly of the genre and it’s turned up a lot of great music like Leviathan, Draugar, Blood of The Black Owl, The Ruins of Beverast, Bergraven, Shining and such. But then again there are (in my opinion) turds like Fear of Eternity, Striborg and Indiana duo Ensepulchred.

First off, I’m no ethnocentric Geophobe, and I know lots of great music comes from places it really shouldn’t but personally, I have a hard time believing that two Office Max looking dudes from Frankfort, Indiana can really identify with the grim, melancholy and arcane atmospheres that Ensepulchred pretend to display. Secondly, simply applying overbearing, cheap synths to mid paced, raspy and reedy black metal DOES NOT equate to Blut Aus Nord meets Emperor, as the press sheet and bio state.

Folks, this is just plain bad, and maybe takes the cake from Fear of Eternity, (who at least has improved over his last 45 album in the last 6 months), for worst example of the genre I’ve heard. The synths are arguably what do it, though I’m pretty sure if they were left out, this would still be pretty bad. They are simply overpowerlingly bad, overused, off key, demo quality and hokey-and they are in force for pretty much every unoriginal and boring riff. The majesty of In the Nightside Eclipse, could not be a further reference point. And when used in conjunction with hollow, programmed drums and guitars and synths that sound like a super low budget Italian horror B-Movie from the 70’s, the end result is just disastrous.

Tracks like “Graves Upturned”, “Embrace Your Decaying Children and Weep”, “Where the Infected Lurk”, “Beneath Frozen Fields” aptly titled “Unforgivable” and particularly bad “In a Dark Place With No Escape” (though “In a Dark Place with no Musical Ability” would have sounded better) ramble and rasp with no direction of structure. Vague and barren atmospheric injections serve to add to the faux grimness, whereas the sounds of copiers, phones ringing or even cows mooing would have fitted this duo better.

Please stop.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 22nd, 2007

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