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Ensorcelor: Urarctica

Those with preconceptions about doom metal’s purported lack of variety may be surprised by what Ensorcelor, a relatively new band coalescing out a number of dissolved Montreal projects, has to offer. “ On “Urartica Begins” Ensorcelor serves up 36 minutes over three tracks of doom-based metal that blends influences from all over the metal and hardcore maps to conjure up something entirely their own.

What makes stand out the most is the vocal range evident on their recordings, an area which is far too often the shortfall for bands performing beneath the “doom“ banner. Yet Ensorcelor are not simply striving to be another one of the hundreds of bands simply worshipping the likes of Thergathon and Eye Hate God. While the doom influence may be the easiest pick up on these recordings, there are also very heavy traces of screamo and the crustier side of metal (think His Hero Is Gone and Neurosis). Occasionally you can hear distinct traces of black and death metal, especially in the lead guitar, but eventually everything is drawn back to its doom origins.

The demo opens in epic fashion with the 14 minute “A Crown of Smoke on the Brow of the Earth,” a piece consisting of multiple movements that might otherwise be considered distinct tracks, and perhaps inviting comparisons to Neurosis and ISIS. Despite the fact that this demo consists of only three tracks, it has the feel of full length rather than an EP. Things are kept short and sweet on the second track, “Sleep Forever in the Brine,” potentially marking in as the EP’s single. The closing track, “This Even Doom,” returns to the formula of more is better and runs at an exhausting sixteen plus minutes, but allows the listener a break during the track as loud and soft movements ebb and flow into one another to form the whole. Overall, this digital EP will more than satisfy the hungry ears of those looking forward to an official release.

This impressive debut is seeing the light of day here digitally and will also be released in other territories as a cassette on one or more tape labels.




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