Ensoph - Rex Mundi X-IIe
Cruz Del Sur Music
Industrial Gothic Metal
12 songs (54'43")
Release year: 2009
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

One look at Ensoph outfits gives away the style of music they will be playing. Part Gimp from Pulp Fiction, part Nero from Matrix – industrialized gothic metal is in store from these Italians. The bands of this ilk have an unwritten dress code, and Ensoph certainly abides by the rules, both in fashion and musical delivery.

Making their intentions clear from the very start of Evil Has Found a Servant, the band delivers very much in style throughout Rex Mundi X-IIe. Your guess is as good as mine where real percussion ends here and drum machine begins, or how many layers of processed vocals is inserted in Dance High & Shine, Shiva! Cradle of Filth vomit shriek is backed up by a female voice, while brief bursts of blackened thrash quickly yield to an exalted gothic hymn-like chorus. This virgin & demon pairing is utilized periodically throughout the album, most notably in Splendour & Majesty and Disciplina Arcani. Nothing against the matron, but Ensoph’s version of evil is rather well explored and already domesticated by now. Keyboards, predictably, play a large role in the Ensoph sound, ranging from ridiculous turntable squeals on an otherwise symphonic The Whore & the Ashetist, or providing dreamy star-crossed weird slides in Splendour & Majesty and 9Xs.

For those in the know with this genre, you are surely familiar with the formula. The Kovenant and The Amenta practice it well, combining the mechanized pounding with chord playing heavy guitars, then suddenly breaking the thundering chug to go off into the wistful floating directions. If not for the lack of power and credible clean vocals, Thir(s)ty Pieces of Silver could have come off the last pair of Moonspell records. On that front, Ensoph vocalist is surely no Fernando Ribeiro.

I could take the more aggressive … And I Hear a Voice and 9Xs with my morning java, but by the same token I could live without seeping endless fadeout which is In Cinere Et Cilicio. Surprisingly, the most convincing moment on the album is the cleaner sung, and thus more natural, Disciplina Arcani. Of course, it can be the Italian lyrics of the chorus winning me over, not just vocalist X-Ikonoclast finally stopping to strain his vocal cords. This composition and other highlights Dance High & Shine, Shiva! and The Whore & the Ashetist are evenly spaced to maintain interest. Alice in Chains fan I am not, so no comment on how bonus track Would? sounds in the hands of these gothmasters. Staying with the wardrobe theme, if the name of Lex Icon aka Nagash and the robes he donned after departing Dimmu Borgir sit comfortably with you, Ensoph is just the band you need to hear.

Killing Songs :
Dance High & Shine, Shiva!, The Whore & the Ashetist, Disciplina Arcani
Alex quoted 69 / 100
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