Enthral - The Mirror's Opposite End review


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Band: Enthral
Album: The Mirror's Opposite End
Release date: 1998

01. When The Sky Touched The Earth
02. In Passion Swept
03. Weltschmerz
04. The Sins Of Man
05. Salvation Mother
06. Monochrome
07. The 9th Sphere
08. Call Of The Horned Piper - The Sabbat Song
09. The Leaper Play

Dropping subtle hints at what would later become staples of the band but failing to capture the magic of their debut, this is the Enthral album you don't have to regret overlooking.

An immediately noticeable -- if not jarringly so -- difference when compared to the rest of the band's discography, is the production. Thin and seemingly rushed, The Mirror's Opposite End never truly musters up enough strength to show off what was supposed to be great about it: gothic metal-influenced keyboards and haunting melodies. Both of these elements are extremely apparent, but they're continuously stopped short of reaching new heights, instead being dragged into the mud slowly by a meandering sense of ignorance. The only redeeming quality given the lackadaisical mastering is how much emphasis is placed on the bass lines, which is literally the only instrument played by someone (Martin Rafoss) on this album who understands the supporting role and plays the part perfectly. He's truly the cleric on this ragtag team. It's as if everyone else is doing their own thing and it just so happens it synced up come recording time, but they were carried to that point and beyond without even realizing it.

This could have gone from mediocre to bad so easily if not for the decision to let that bass stand out in the mix.

Another problem with this album is just how long it takes to fully, crushingly underwhelm the listener. It clocks in at just under an hour and fifteen minutes, but there really isn't enough content here worth spending so long getting to know -- the exact opposite problem plaguing its successor. It's reminiscent at times, particularly in the early stages, of the type of discarded demo material from underground-era Cradle Of Filth, which I can't highlight enough as a bad thing. The melodies have a certain degree of interest and even come across as catchy and engaging from time to time, but it's all so "broken clock being right twice a day" that it's difficult to justify spending so much time waiting for the good times.

While the band's debut may not have broke mainstream waves in terms of its success, it still built up enough of a cult following that there were expectations for this album to live up to, and though I wasn't a part of that anticipation-riddled crowd at the time, I can't help but feel their overall disappointment upon listening to this. The only thing that makes it worse, adding insult to injury, is the incredibly brief moments that catch lightning in a bottle, only to be dropped immediately on the ground, crashing like a wave against a cliff face pondering its purpose in the universe.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 5


Written on 20.09.2019 by I'm total pro; that's what I'm here for.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 6 users
20.09.2019 - 17:09
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Nice my kind a band review, ms has hopes
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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