Enmerkar - Starlit Passage review


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Band: Enmerkar
Album: Starlit Passage
Release date: 2008

01. Where The Mountains Will Hide Your Ghost
02. Pale Lord Pilgrimage Of The Winter Born
03. Warriors Of The Mist
04. Scaling The Throne Of Arhemaniaus
05. This Ancient Land Of Sorrow And Beauty

Enmerkar, the new band in town, is an American duo consisting of Morchiant and Tentakel. I'm pretty surprised at the quality of their first release as neither of them has any notable connections with other bands and they started out as late as 2007. If you ask me, that's a good sign of what's to come! And I'm not the only one who took notice of them, fortunately, as they already saw their efforts awarded with a label deal with the German Eerie Arts Records, so I hope they can get enough motivation out of that for a couple of more releases. But first things first: the debut EP "Starlit Passage".

Starting out with "Where The Mountains Will Hide Your Ghost", an acoustic piece of strumming that has strong resemblances with Drudkh, Alcest and Mortifera in terms of sound and style, the album opens deceivingly. The title "Starlit Passage" itself is actually quite misleading for a piece of music such as this, as there are not many stars lit on this passage. As a matter of fact, this little baby is pitch-black. Pitch. Black. Depressive Black metal is of course known for it's dark sound, but few bands manage to do 'the darkness' so well as Enmerkar does.

Responsible for the impenetrable darkness are the guitar riffs, which are played and processed in such a way that they have morphed into a black haze. A black haze that rages on, and on, and on, and on. I could give them shit for borrowing heavily from "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" and "Filosofem", but "Starlit Passage" has enough quality to make me completely forget about objections of such kind. Every once in a while a little treasure comes along, such as the beautiful wavering sounds of "Pale Lord Pilgrimage Of Winter Born" at 7:30 and onwards. Or the flesh-tearing solo in "Scaling The Throne Of Arhemanius" backed by frantic drumming. Both real gems, and there are more of those hidden in this short but intense twenty-six minute EP.

My first impression of this band was a rather negative one, as it struck me like just another Burzum/Depressive Black metal clone without any trace of fresh ideas, but surely I was proven completely wrong. They do have their own sound and even created a few surprisingly great parts. You'll have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy this, but if you do, you will not be disappointed! Fans of Burzum, Nyktalgia, Sterbend, Lyrinx, Austere or any Depressive Black Metal band that recently made a name for itself: grab this one!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Written on 29.03.2009 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 47 users
30.03.2009 - 05:11
Lucas, thanks for bringing this band to our attention. I completely agree with your review: they really to drive the crushing atmosphere right into the ground. I only heard what clips they had on their myspace page but it was enough to pique my interested for sure. Sweet.
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
14.03.2010 - 08:45
This ep is really fucking good, with great ambience Sometimes sounds like the Angelic Process playing black metal to me. I'm anxious and excited to have them record a full-length.
26.04.2010 - 18:41
Account deleted
This is really rather good I have to say.

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