With two more or less massive demos behind them since their inception in 2006, Finnish dark metal merchants Enthrope returned in June 2010 with the debut album 'Tomorrow's Dead Days'. Since I liked the demos, my expectations towards the album were sky-high. Or rather they were sphaerical, when thinking about Enthrope and their lyrical concepts...
Enthrope's music is mostly very heavy, mid-paced and filled with melody. Heavy chug-chug riffs and heavily melodious guitar work is backed by ethereal mat-like synthesizers, big beats, brutally growled vocals and loud bass. The music also has a very Finnish aura to it, probably because of its melancholic feel, to which the music dives into every now and then. Enthrope sound somewhat close, at least at times, to Swallow The Sun, Rapture and Insomnium for example. The band's goal was to "combine dark, death metal music with more atmospheric and ambient sounds to fulfill the concept", and they have succeeded in doing that. The songs are pretty long, but their concepts are amorphous, be it compositions or melodies. Sometimes these work like a dream, other times not so well. The band have included both old (3) and new songs (6) on this one. Some of the new songs see the band moving towards lighter, not so severe tones. These surely give breathing space, but still I find these bits for being not so engaging (okay, female vocals driven 'The Desolate' is magnificent!). While there are many different tones throughout the album, still it is somewhat plagued by stagnation. Anyways, this does not lack of hooks, at times they just might be more further from each other.
The production is heavy. Actually it is overtly heavy, to the point of distortion. This might be because that they've tampered with promo copy, so that the original would not circulate as a pirate version in the internet. Clean soundscape is a fine contrast to heaviness, and detail-wise there is a lot to be heard. The lyrics are fantastically space-coloured, which give them unique touch.
My opinion towards this album hasn't changed during 4 or so months. I found this both engaging and somewhat dull straight from the first listen. A good debut, but did not quite fill my highexpectations. If you're a sucker for Swallow The Sun, Rapture and Insomnium and similar (even more melodic Hypocrisy stuff), then this album, I believe, is well worth to be experienced.
Rating: 7+ (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane