~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
And the award for "most unoriginal metal title of 2003" goes to... Enshadowed, with their utterly predictable and unnecessary CD title: Intensity. Yet, the track list is quite complicated. There's a song with three separate movements (notated by Roman numerals, no less!) and the CD is broken into two distinct chapters - each of which is more creatively titled than the actual CD. So before we get to the music, let's sum up Enshadowed's lyrical ambition. They're definitely trying to go beyond the typical confines of death and black metal, but I feel they're just a tad misguided, and their lyrics are about as pedestrian as you can get for blasphemous violence and heretical tales of woe.
The music on Intensity follows much the same theme. Anyone who has enjoyed recent death/black metal hybrids should like Enshadowed. Heck, I even like them, and I'm usually the first one to complain about unoriginal music. But I didn't have to buy the CD, so now would be a good time to figure out if you should. First off, if you're the kind of metal fan that likes to hear heavy music constantly, this is a good CD to add to your playlist. It features a ton of cool death and black metal riffs, occasional atmospherics via keyboards, competent growls, reasonably technical drumming, and rumbling bass with neat fills.
Taken as a whole, Intensity is quite a good CD for the style. Unfortunately, none of the songs particularly standout, and sooner or later the listening experience breaks down and you find yourself pleasantly nodding along to heavy background music. My grandparents like a little Sinatra to add to the rockin' party feel of a dinner get-together. I could just as easily use Enshadowed. I don't want to hurt the band's reputation too much - their music is at times very intense and powerful - but the lack of distinct songs causes a blurring of heaviness.
So far, I haven't heard any other groups occupying the exact niche that Enshadowed does. Enshadowed manages a very strong black metal style that incorporates the heavy riffs and melodies of certain death metal strains. Intensity is certainly worth listening to if you get into this style, just don't expect any of the songs to jump out at you. In the future I'd like to see the band explore their atmospheric leanings even further... for now, Intensity suits me just fine. And if you're not convinced, well, the vocalist is named Snegodron. That's pretty cool, right? Can't pass up someone with a name like Snegodron. SNEGODRON - Lord Protectorate of Hell's Third Circle. Yeah. That's good stuff.
Black Lotus Records:
The End Records: