Ensoph
Rex Mundi X-Ile

There’s a dude on the back cover of Rex Mundi X-Ile wearing a gas mask and PVC latex. It’s never a good sign when your band photo apes something Marilyn Manson did back in ’96 (on the inside jacket for Antichrist Superstar). And it’s not because I’m anti-Manson or anything (I’m not, though I wish he would stop being such a mope), but I do have something against unoriginal copycats.

Luckily for Italian act Ensoph, I did some digging and found that they have had some original things to say in the past ten years (this is their fifth major release). They started off as a atmospheric black metal act, then folded more challenging avant-garde and electronic elements into their sound as they matured. Unfortunately, any of that earlier spark seems to have been cast aside for the creation of Rex Mundi X-Ile, which is basically a mish-mash of a bunch of industrial metal clichés.

Throw Rammstein, late-era …And Oceans and tons of Kovenant into a blender with carnivalesque keyboards, female clean vocals and some admittedly cool blackened goblin vocals, and you get the current incarnation of Ensoph. Production-wise, it all sounds fine – the guitars crunch with appropriate heft above the twittering, slithering keys, vocals are varied and well-placed in the mix – there just aren’t many good songs here. Ambitious as it is, most of Rex Mundi X-Ile is just unfocused and overly busy, with none of the driving, danceable beats or simple, punchy structures that make bands like KMFDM such an addictive pleasure.

It’s a shame, because ordinarily I’d eat this stuff up – but this just didn’t work for me. I think I’m going to go listen to Animatronic now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
August 5th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    I heard some samples earlier and can’t remember liking them though Cruz Del Sur can boast of some really cool bands in its arsenal.


  2. Commented by: xaden

    and even manson stole that idea from a far better band whow ere around eyars before. but ensoph is quite good and different even though i prefer herrschaft these days.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    @ xaden: where did Manson get that specific imagery from? I know he’s borrowed plenty from Bowie and Alice Cooper over the years but I always thought he had his own unique spin on things as well.


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