Ensnared take long, blood-rich road to death metal fury, which pays off on debut ‘Dysangelium’

Most music is really difficult to create. I’m pretty sure that’s true, anyway. Some bands toil away, create, destroy what results, and go back and do it again over and over. Some don’t make it out, and their lifespan is lost to time. Others refuse to call it quits, warping their creations and finding ways to emit darkness in a way that satisfies them, even if it estranges others.

“Dysangelium,” the debut record from Swedish death troops Ensnared, wasn’t exactly an overnight thing. The band went through myriad changes (they were called Gravehammer for the first five years of their existence), putting their music and psyches to the test and not giving up until they had an abomination of an album (in a good way!) worthy of their own hideous ways. And here we are, finally, with this vicious, 11-cut first offering that proves hard work and attention to detail can pay off in bloody spades. From the first bursts of this album, you can feel the true death metal spirit travelling through its sickened veins and into your mind. The band—guitarist/vocalist H.K., drummer J.K. (who both are original members), guitarist A.J., bassist A.E. (who both also play with Trial)—plays with vicious, reckless abandon, sounding like they’re coming for you with burning torches and red-splattered swords. The record, in fact, is so crushing that it has to be handled by two labels—the mighty Dark Descent here in the States and equally reliable Invictus Productions elsewhere. Also, there’s a guy dabbing on the cover. But that shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of this beast.

The record has an interesting makeup as it is six full songs, broken up by five interludes in order to add to the environment. “Crushing the Meek of Heart” gets things grinding and bloody, as guitars bleed heavily, grim growls lead the song into the storm, and later when the pace slows, the playing remains utterly heavy and tornadic. The first interlude is punchy and thorny, with melodies rising, fading, and then charging anew and into “Gale of Maskim.” The track has a fiery start, with guitars assaulting and the vocals scraping at open wounds. The riffs are powerful and snake through the song, while the soloing goes off, and the band hits a black metal-style groove to make things even nastier. The second interlude has echoing drums and an eerie feel, leading toward “Antiprophet” that charges hard from the start. Growls splatter, while the pace exacts revenge for whatever transgression it turns its focus. Strange shouts that sound coated in reverb and the blistering pace kick up dust and chug massively through to the end. The third interlude then injects a spooky, psychedelic ambiance into the record’s DNA, cooling things off ever so briefly.

“Apostles of Dismay” brings a thunderous start complete with thumping bass and a surfy feel to the guitar work. The mission of the song is to tear open and destroy, which it does quite effectively, even taking time to mix in some cosmic madness and wiry punishment, as “Apostles of dismay!” is shouted repeatedly. The fourth interlude is the coldest of them all, sliding through muck and toward “Impious Immance” and its punchy death burst. Speedy riffs and an old-school death feel dominate, while shouts of, “Prepare the sacrifice!” remind that danger lurks and won’t stop until its needs are satisfied. The soloing blazes, while the song comes to a smashing end. The final interlude has noise echoing off the walls and guitars trickling, opening the door for the title track that causes heads to spin right from the start. The drums create demolition, while the guitars whip up a cyclone of pain that blows down anything in its way. The song has its melodic runs and catchy breaks, but for the most part, we’re treated mesmerizing, painful hammering that doesn’t let up until the song does.

Ensnared’s debut may have taken a while to see the disgusting light of day, but now that “Dysangelium” is here, their momentum cannot be stopped by any force but their own. This is a violent, sudden demonstration of death metal that should satisfy those of us who have a tough time finding genuine bands who don’t give a fuck about sounding pristine. These guys only care about taking out as many useless souls as they can as fast as they can do it.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/nsnrdgbg/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/

Or here: https://invictusproductions.net/shop/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

And here: https://invictusproductions.net/

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