Enochian Crescent - _NEF.VI.LIM_
(Woodcut Records, 2010)
by: Mark Dolson (6.5 out of 10)
Mysterious Finnish act Enochian Crescent have finally released the follow up EP to their last release, _Black Church_ back in 2006. Sadly, I'm not familiar with any of Enochian Crescent's releases prior to 2000 -- leaving a void of opinion when it comes to their debut, _Telocvovim_ (1997), and the follow up EP, entitled _Babalon Patralx De Telecvovim_ (1998). Before I proceed, though, here's a brief aside: the word "enochian" is supposedly a language created by two 16th century British occultists, Sir Edward Kelly and his partner, John Dee. I won't spend too much time on it here, but apparently, Kelley and Dee claimed that the "enochian" language was the language of angels, first brought to their attention through Kelley's crystal ball. As such, the common word in Enochian Crescent album titles, telocvovim apparently translates to "he who has fallen". This is actually pretty interesting, and I have to hand it to the band for seeking literary inspiration outside the all too hackneyed confines of the works of Tolkien and Sturluson's Norse Eddas.

Musically, _NEF.VI.LIM_ follows a similar pathway the band followed with _Black Church_: somewhat varied black metal (sans keyboards), with catchy rock-inspired chords here and there, and few solos to infuse the songs with a bit of dynamism. Some tracks are leavened with occasional blast-beats, and double-bass tirades as well. In places, you'll also find some really nice sounding clean guitar interludes, such as on the first track, "Lyijysiipi"; however, the most interesting use of clean guitar is on the third track, "Muisto Sorkcasta". The song is punctuated in places with this almost 1950s sounding wavering plucking -- it sounds like it's right out of something like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

This isn't melodic black metal, even though the band tend to rely heavily on tremolo picking as their main method of conveyance. I think what makes Enochian Crescent stand out compared to many black metal bands is Janne Kuru's vocals. They sound like a very laboured, desperate and strangulated version of a black metal rasp; typically high-pitched for the most part, though sometimes falling into softer passages, gurgled sotto voce. The male choir accompaniments (sometimes sounding as if Janne is singing along side a room full of crooners) add some interesting texture to the songs, and gives them a kind of sing-songy feel to them in places, even if it borders the somewhat comical at points -- listen to the song "Omega Nefilim" to see what I mean.

_NEF.VI.LIM_ clocks in at 30 minutes over six tracks, which is pretty short for a full-length. With the notable exception of the aforementioned track, "Muisto Sorkcasta" there really aren't many memorable tracks to comment on here. Still, I have to admit that I'm not really fond of track "Golgotha" in that it's beginning and ending give way to a really industrialised, mechanical beat, sounding reminiscent of later-era ...And Oceans.

I think there is some interesting material on this album, but I really do like their previous effort _Black Church_ much better. There was something really creepy, melancholic and unique about that album; and I think I was just expecting more of a continuation of that approach. Don't get me wrong, there are creepy segments on _NEF.VI.LEM_; it's just that something -- maybe that dark, frenetic energy -- seems to be missing, and makes it seem as though the songs were rushed and not as carefully written and arranged as they should have been in the four years it has been since the release of _Black Church_. If you enjoyed the previous releases by this long-running Finnish band, do check out this latest release. Let's just hope that Enochian Crescent's next album doesn't take another four years to materialise.

Contact: http://www.enochian-crescent.com/

(article published 9/4/2010)


ALBUMS
5/25/2000 P Azevedo 8 Enochian Crescent - Omega Telocvovim
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