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Ennui : Mze Ukunisa

Ennui's debut is an incredibly intense album for Doom Metal standards, and especially for Funeral Doom.

Georgia isn’t really a country that is known for its metal scene. In fact, Extreme Doom band Ennui is the first I’ve heard to come from that area. Interestingly enough, I had actually seen quite a bit of promotion for the band’s first album, ’Mze Ukunisa’ before listening to it. For a band that is brand new, comes from an area that is practically unknown in the metal scene, and is signed with such an obscure label (MFL Records, which had only released a split between Ego Depths and Who Dies in Siberian Slush prior to this album), I had wondered what it was that was making Ennui gain so much attention in such little time. However, upon to the album, it became clear to me as to why Ennui is gaining fans so quickly.

It is typical for a Funeral Doom band to start an album off slowly, beginning with a melancholic keyboard intro and progressively building up to the moment when the guitars come in. However, Ennui grabs its listener’s attention immediately, opening the album with an abrasive, crawling guitar riff, complemented by a haunting synthesizer melody. This sets the mood for the entire album, letting the listener know they are to abandon all hope of hearing something accessible or melodic. In each song, Ennui paints a desolate and solemn soundscape with monumental heaviness and crushing emotion. With every strum of the distorted guitars, the weight of the world plummets down on the listener again and again, only letting up for brief breakdowns. Calm, yet foreboding, passages of clean guitars and synthesizers occasionally weave through the mire of depressive riffs, only to prepare the listener for when the music will pick up the pace. At many points during the album, the music breaks away from its lethargic Funeral Doom mould with pounding up-tempo sections, even reaching Black and Death Metal speeds during the climaxes of ‘Dead Desires’ and ‘Maybe the Time Shall Come’. The final touch that ties this symphony of vitriol together is a deep and monstrous roar that cringes out lyrics written in the band’s native tongue. These inhuman growls compete with the cavernous grunts heard in Comatose Vigil and Tyranny, as well as the sick gutturals of Death Metal and Grindcore bands, in its depth and sheer ferocity. However, this immensely dark voice never dominates the music, allowing the guitar melodies to remain in the foreground at all times. This is also the case with the drumming. While the drums are surprisingly technical for a Doom album, they are easily subdued beneath the riffs.

Needless to say, ‘Mze Ukunisa’ is an incredibly intense album for Doom Metal standards, and especially for Funeral Doom. This is a style of music that is characterized by pure minimalism through its use of repetition and droning rhythms, yet Ennui has successfully defied these basic criteria in order to create something of their own. The only real negative aspect about ’Mze Ukunisa’ is that I find it to be somewhat unmemorable. The album was able to capture my attention and keep me drawn in consistently throughout, but once it was over, it was soon forgotten. There weren’t many special moments in the album that were significant enough to really blow me away, nor did any of the songs stand out more than the others. I believe ’Mze Ukunisa’ truly shines when it is listened to in its entirety, allowing the compositions to flow into one another and form a whole. The album is sure to become an essential for Funeral Doom enthusiasts, as well as those who enjoy the Extreme Doom/Death of Ahab, Asunder, and Ataraxie.

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Flowers of Silence
2. Dead Desires
3. Maybe the Time Shall Come
4. The Way of my Life’s End
5. Frozen Candle
6. Memento Mori

Duration : Approx. 76 minutes

Visit the Ennui bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-01-20 by Dante DuVall
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