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Enhailer : Grisaille (Gra​-​sigh)

Enhailer's sludgy Post-Metal debut is an excellent collection of riffs with raw, but top-notch production.

I came across Enhailer a long time ago while searching through Bandcamp for Doom bands. I had this album bookmarked in my web browser but lost track of it somehow. Sadly, I was never able to remember the name of either the band or the album, though I remembered the music and the cover art, and I was pleasantly surprised when I received 'Grisaille (Gra-sigh)' to be reviewed. It's a solid instrumental album that explores Post-Metal territory rather than Doom, in my opinion, but it's short, sweet, and to the point. Who doesn't love an excellent collection of riffs with raw, but top-notch production?

'Psalms for the Downtrodden', the first track of 'Grisaille (Gra-sigh)', is a good opener, one that showcases what the listener has in store for them on the rest of the album. Its call-and-response style of switching between chugging, heavy riffs and melodic arpeggios makes for a complete instrumental, one that truly doesn't need vocals. In this regard, Enhailer succeeds where many bands have previously failed: they kept me entertained from beginning to end without catchy vocal parts to sit on top of the arrangement. I usually regard instrumental albums as something to passively listen to while doing something else, but with songs like 'Psalms for the Downtrodden,' an active listen is justified.

The following tracks are similar in style, though not as intense in melody and energy, but each one tries to carry some distinguishing feature. For the opener it's the bamboo flute sounding parts, 'Templars Calling' has a few death growls, and the closing track has an interesting - but somewhat unfitting - sound bite before the music busts in. Another example includes the ambient synth in the background of the intros to 'Hallowtide' and 'Beaten Path.'

The mix and channel settings Enhailer uses also push the album forward. The guitar tones are definitely Doom-derived - fuzzy distortion drenched in reverb - and the drums are brought to the front, accenting every chug of the guitar with beats washed in cymbal-play. And though the word 'distinct' may be overstating it, the bass guitar doesn't find itself drowned in the noise - you can still hear it in the background, grooving along and popping in with a clever fill at the appropriate moment. On top of all this, leads come into play here and there, adding to the melodic foundation the music is built upon.

The biggest advantage of the music is that it doesn't overstay its welcome, and each song comes to a close right when it should. At only half an hour in length, 'Grisaille (Gra-sigh)' is short for a six-track, Doom album, but for an instrumental one that's asking for an active listen, maybe this is right on the mark. I hope to hear more from Enhailer in the future, and I'll be sure to remember the name next time I switch web-browsers.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Psalms For The Downtrodden
2. Grisaille
3. Templars Calling
4. Hallowtide
5. Beaten Path
6. Darkness And Dust

Duration : Approx. 32 minutes

Visit the Enhailer bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-02-25 by Alex Drozd
Aesthetic Death
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