04 Jun 2022 - Gene
Industrial, Psychedelic, Electronic, Doom | Pelagic Records | Release date: 24 Jun 2022
Here come Enphin, new to the Pelagic roster and pretty new to me, but I’ve had myself an early listen and it turns out they’ve got a bunch of albums to date and a solid mission to fuck up your brain. Formerly known as “Mr. Peter Hayden” (is this Hayden a golem not unlike Eddie The Hand?) and following up on the astounding Osiris Hayden of 2019’s end, End Cut comes at us as if out of the late 90’s in the way of heavy-hitting, high concept doom rock. That is my quick and dirty on Enphin, allegedly ending an album cycle here – although doubtfully an idea arc – with the masterful End Cut.
Enphin, now very comfortably at Pelagic along the likes of Crown and now of course NYOS, on a powerhouse label having just released a Lustmord compendium! Safe to say we are in good company.
The album opens with ”An Nihilist,” a sort of unassuming preamble, which did not at first demand attention, save for its precociously prototypical spot, that took me a few listens to appreciate its own subtle tricks. But that quickly transitions from something almost purely dancey into a series of haunting trips, by turn visceral and by turn didactic.
On follower and first real highlight sequence on the album, ”Communion,” and its outro, for lack of a better word, ”The Test View,” a format that sets the stage for whatever the equivalent of quiet-loud balance goes for in the Industrial scene. Now our journey is padded by deep grooves and woeful echoes of stern prophecy.
”Perpetual Night,” the nect single contender, follows naturally from the tortured invocation of ”Kaiverrus,” to deliver one of the albums’ unequivocal heavyweights with its darkly doomy splendor.
Aptly named, ”Moth,” reaffirms that Gary Neumann nod. More pitchshifted vocals tentatively in the pocket of a minimalist patchwork of chisel-like bass blasts, glitchy drum beats and cutting keyboard tracks, coming through the aether a dejected and romantic reprieve and back into the wall of dance on the title track.
Here the dance elements blend and we dial up the menacing oratory; the well-placed samples of anguish and ecstasy. Then, surely, flash back to the dance scene with cuts like ”Protocosmic,” which artfully blends the artificial and organic and evokes an arcane truth we’ve yet to grasp.
And onward to single, ”The Non-Returners,” a familiar, yet powerful statement to pin a heavily introspective and foreboding body of work. This is one Crown fans will love. Its angular vocal delivery and deep bass notes, ghostly samples, and visionary lyrics of intergalactic proportions. I would say this cut encapsulates much of the thematic and technical effort upon which this album is set to balance. An excellent track. But the album does not let up, with no less than two more bangers. ”Ending,” so apropos, so poignant. It bears repeating for this is no light affair. What Enphin have accomplished here, this unsettling erudite entry into their storied oeuvre goes beyond mere influences, however storied, into a perfectly nightmarish stratosphere.
I suppose you could have skipped all that and just asked whether I think you should give this album a listen and I would say yeah, definitely. This album is going to drop hard. I would have to say, I can see this developing even further, with Enphin capitalizing on all this rich inspiration going forward. I would like to see the vocals take on a frightening power, I would like to see the instrumentation take a reckless leap of faith. But on balance, this is a very compelling album, particularly geared to that reclusive sort who might dabble in cassette tapes and knows a lot more about Ulver than you do.
You can catch the video to ”The Non-Returners,” now here. And Look out for End Cut on Pelagic records soon! This is not one to miss!!