In 2009, shredtastic metal was the name of the game in metal. Between the huge boom in technical death metal, the rising progressive deathcore bands, and the old prog guard releasing some of their best material, it was a great time for guitar wankery. Buried under the popularity of huge albums like Cosmogenesis, Oracles and The Great Misdirect, was a little blackened tech death album by a band from Nashville: Our Cursed Rapture by Enfold Darkness. Finding a unique niche in their black metal influenced music, Enfold Darkness turned some serious heads with their debut. Unfortunately, their momentum was lost and they ended up not following up their minor underground success until this year with The Adversary Omnipotent.
The band is faced with one of rock music’s hardest and more notorious challenges. It’s always hard following up something everyone loved. Wintersun couldn’t do it. Necrophagist still hasn’t even tried. There’s so much mounting expectation and every year that goes by demands the final product to be that much better. The Adversary Omnipotent, fortunately, follows through on the promises of Enfold’s debut. Mastermind, James Turk, the only member to appear from the last album, has completely salvaged this project after years of dormancy and the future looks bright for them. Though away for a long time, Turk has pinpointed exactly what made the first album great and improved upon it.
The core principle of Enfold Darkness’s music seems to be perpetual motion, always moving forward. They are a maximalist band. New ideas unfold in every bar. Development and details are constantly emerging. The title track demonstrates this perfectly. Although Enfold Darkness often gets a Black Dahlia Murder or Arsis comparison, there is some inaccuracy in that. The band certainly has a progressive and melodic edge to them but not quite the same focus on big choruses like the aforementioned bands. Naglfar mixed with Death would be a closer comparison. On top of the melody and the shreds, they have a theatrical spin to their music that also puts them in the same camp as Cradle of Filth or even your standard symphonic power metal band. The album is divided into 3 Acts. If that doesn’t tell you what kind of album this is, I don’t know what will.
The music is epic. The production clean, tight, and vastly improved upon the last album. At nearly twice the length of the last album, Adversary Omnipotent is everything you could wish for. The songs are longer, more dramatic, more complex, and showcase every member’s instrumental talent extremely well. Enfold Darkness did not disappoint. Pick this thing up.
The Adversary Omnipotent is available now via The Artisan Era.