Ensnared - Inimicus Generis Humani review

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Band: Ensnared
Album: Inimicus Generis Humani
Release date: February 2020

01. Interlude I
02. Spiritual Necrosis
03. The Throne Of Transformation
04. Interlude II
05. Disciples Of The Whip
06. Interlude III
07. Katharsis Through Terror
08. Black Hole Acolytes

Swedish death metal may have its stereotypes, but damn it if they aren't well-earned.

Ensnared follow a long list of established death metal practitioners from their homeland with more of the same you'd come to expect, but that doesn't mean Inimicus Generis Humani isn't an album worth listening to. It remains true to the old guard, steadfast in its reverence of cultural nuance and historical evolution (or lack thereof), and will be a particularly enjoyable listen for anyone who's been overwhelmed by the swathes of mechanically produced, hyper-technical, progressive meandering death metal albums being churned out on a consistent basis. While a niche target demographic, to be sure, it's almost refreshing coming across an outfit solely dedicated to making the music they want to, all stylistic confines considered, independent of how their creation is received.

Now, the words written up to this point might indicate that this is a simple paint-by-numbers death metal album, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Inimicus Generis Humani is dripping with blues influence, particularly in regard to the jazzy drum patterns and playful lounge-style interludes. This formulates a somewhat relaxing, sort of lulling atmosphere, constantly breaking from the straightforward moments once the aggression levels reach their peak to help settle things down before kicking up again. The rock 'n' roll litter scattered throughout the album approaches Entombed territory at times, though never in such a heavy-handed manner. This mashup of styles isn't exclusive to this album, as their previous release, Dysangelium, displays a nearly identical list of features, to extremely similar results.

There's a surprising amount of subtlety thrown into this blender, though the success of its overall execution is something deserving of being questioned. That pervasive archetypal Swedish melodic backdrop carries each song from start to finish, with the down-tuned crunchy guitar sound tanking the bulk of the filler material. There's more than enough of that to go around, so as not to completely shift the Ensnared name out of the mouths of extreme metal addicts looking for their next hit, but they repeatedly temper themselves in a way that might dissuade certain members of the audience from latching onto the proverbial nipple. All is not unicorns and rainbows here, as the songwriting does suffer from a bit of a disconnect between these stylistic differences being forcefully mashed together, and the disjointed flow is thusly disruptive to the immersive experience an album should offer a listener. At times this has masterpiece qualities to it, but it saturates itself with an overabundance (or reliance) of those aforementioned breaks in the chains. If only a tad more streamlined and proportionately balanced between its opposing elements, this is the kind of release that could easily make its way into "album of the year" discussion. Unfortunately, that isn't the case here, but the potential on display has this reviewer eagerly anticipating future material.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Written on 10.05.2020 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 31 users
10.05.2020 - 19:46
Account deleted
Good review, even if its too technical. But with that being said you said a lot of good things that I have been wondering about this album.

If we go to the overall score and your final words - I am gonna be a very happy guy if you find me a better old-school death metal album this year. Le me know. You might be right but my guess is that in its own division, this will be hard to beat. In my ears this sticks out quite a long way from the rest of the bunch.
10.05.2020 - 20:17
Troy Killjoy
Written by Guest on 10.05.2020 at 19:46
...even if its too technical.

My primary character flaw.


I am gonna be a very happy guy if you find me a better old-school death metal album this year. Le me know. You might be right but my guess is that in its own division, this will be hard to beat. In my ears this sticks out quite a long way from the rest of the bunch.

So far this is tops for me in terms of an osdm album that actually offers something more than just replicated homage, which is saying a lot. The only reason this scored less than an 8 for me is because of the flow, but the material judged individually is excellent and will be hard to overtake by its peers for the remainder of the year.
I have no memory of this place.
11.05.2020 - 00:21
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Best thing about swedish n finnish dm id lyrics, its totaly different as Florida or usdm anf dm in general. Yes we have traditional dm lyrics, ut many bands has different approach, as canadian you should know what covers soul 6 months from oktober to mid May. Love also mdm lyrics
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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