A bit late getting to this one but the simple fact is that whilst the bigger labels and the commercial side of music is in a panic and pushing back releases the underground black metal world is parasitically spreading its germs and festering. It’s not a pleasant analogy in these troubled times but that’s exactly how it seems to be. Enepsigos are a Norwegian based entity and are now following up debut album (there’s no getting away from it) ‘Plague Of Plagues’ from 2017 and this is particularly nasty stuff. Lately I have noticed a lot of namechecking of Blut Aus Nord in reviews and there are certainly many bands that are taking inspiration from their skewed and lurching harmonics. Wrath Of Wraths is no exception but in this case totally justified as we have Thorns, drummer of the group (and countless others) in the ranks of this trio. Along with him we have the macabre vocals of Doedsvanger and Nordjevel’s V.I.T.H.R. and new recruit on guitar and bass Rituul. What a horrible sound they make between them.
This is murky, grimy and guaranteed to leave a foul taste in the ears. It rumbles into death with ‘Shields Of Faith.’ Drums clatter in, hellish vocals infect the pores and it lumbers off with guitars thornily pervading and a sense of rotten rankness cloaking it. Production is dense but you can make out what is going on with bass work defined and the tumultuous and cavernous noise spreading contagiously. The ghoulish vocals are particularly horrid, attacking from all angles with madness and demonic gibbering like possession has taken hold. Then that sense of seasickness from the rhythm adds to the texture, that BaN etched disharmony talking hold. If tumultuous feelings of nausea are what you are looking for at the moment as we spew into ‘Confess’ you will be fully in the grip of fever and attempting to not feel somewhat bewildered as the fetid underlying weaving rhythms pulse through the heart of the music very much like an icy grip, squeezing and trying to stop that very organ beating. Its definitely claustrophobic and panic attack inducing and this cacophony has everything dashing away dramatically in the mix. There’s 6 tracks to tackle over a thankfully compact ¾ of an hour run time but if you are looking for any shelter from the darkness, little will be found here. Doom like tentacles reach for you and grasp as the ‘Seventh Seal’ is broken and as far as the vocals are concerned what bile they vomit out; ugh. Calamitous and verminous are good words to describe this as it bursts into a mad dash but a quick downing of tools sees a ritualistic icy patch of atmosphere before the blackened autopsy surges back in and bites.
Blasphemy is at the very heart here; I haven’t seen and can’t make out the lyrics of tracks like ‘The Whore Is the Temple’ but the birth is inhuman and horrifying as some shrill harmonies break through the mouldy rankness like the antichrist is heralding a new arrival. A huge female scream is delivered along with the black blood and filth of this unholy birthing, the story practically writing itself from horror film of choice. I’m not sure whether you should look upon it as a respite but some unexpected and gorgeous chanting choral work suddenly makes an appearance in the midst of the cacophonous ‘Cups of Anger,’ well at least you can grab a quick breath before it ploughs headlong back into full on discordant mania. The final hurdle is ‘Water And Flesh’ the longest track and one to batter you into submission if you are not already a quivering wreck already. This really is the soundtrack to death and disease and one of the most unsettling works I have heard in quite some time. There’s no denying its conviction though and if anything Enepsigos are revelling in their chaos. By the end I am hearing things and can’t work out if there is a saxophone embedded in the sound, its so maddening and strangely jazzy towards climax the mind could well be playing tricks. One to approach with caution methinks but if you want to push everything to the limits and embrace horrible chaos you will definitely be in the right place here.
(8/10 Pete Woods)