Winter is coming. That’s not a “Game of Thrones” goof. It really is. I think. Here on the East Coast of the U.S., I’m also hoping autumn will arrive, as it’s my favorite season. But that’s looking highly unlikely at this point as I gaze at the 15-day forecast. So, looking forward to winter is kind of a loser’s game.
That said, the music of one-man project Eneferens always makes me think of the snowy, freezing days that, allegedly, are right around the corner. Luckily for sole creator Jori Apedaile and for us, his music is getting the wider stage it deserves, as Bindrune Recordings and Nordvis Produktion are teaming up to bring the project’s second full-length “In the Hours Beneath” to their loyal audience. The music has been out there digitally since December of last year, but now more people can indulge in this nice mix of frosty folk and woodsy black metal that fits like a glove right at both labels. This six-track, nearly 43-minute collection will sound ideal once the snows start falling and we’re trapped in dark homes with equally blackened beers. But even now when the weather remains warm and oppressive, this music at least makes one think of a time when snow-crunched hikes and layered clothing are parts of our lives.
Fittingly, “Morning” begins the record, as sounds spread majestically, and serene guitar work bursts over the horizon. Apedaile’s singing and the atmosphere remind heavily of Alcest, making it seem like everything is easing into a fog. Calming synth warms up and adds a bluish hue before the guitars light up, the tempo gets heavier and faster, and we gently rollick into the finish. “Chrysanthemum” unleashes the power, as riffs set fires, and the vocals get growlier and more aggressive. The song lets the earth quake, while melodies rush in, infusing even more colors into the sky. Bursts continue to drop before the song melts into serenity and fades out. “Through the White” lets sounds gush, growls draw blood, and a proggier edge bite into the song. Cleaner vocals swell and become a greater part of the song, while the pace picks up and lets adrenaline crush. A brief measure of calm emerges, leaving an icy feel on the surface, before the track ruptures and bleeds away its chaos.
“Refuge” takes its time getting started, but it has time with its 9:24 run to fully develop, and it does. Melodic riffs rise as the vocals turn decidedly death metal. Guitars then begin to blind, as the tempo rages with great momentum downhill like a snowball with a boulder as its core. All elements spiral and crash before we calm down a bit. Singing floats and begins to rise higher, while dual guitar lines rule everything in its way. From there, the emotion caterwauls and leads right to instrumental cut “Upon the Black Mountain.” Pianos drip, while a wintry glaze is applied to the song, making it the perfect pathway to 12-minute closer “Ascension.” The serenity leads in before a storm erupts, and the song thunders away. Clean singing adds a different texture to the chaos, while the leads also ease up before taking off into the sky. Melodic calling and epic guitar work combine, as the lead play takes on a ’70s vibe (if Opeth played with this kind of vibe, we wouldn’t have an issue) before the song disappears for good into the cosmos.
Eneferens has been a bit of an elusive project since its inception, but with Bindrune and Nordvis on board, “In the Hours Beneath” should find a wider audience to admire these engaging songs. Apedaile’s style should appeal to fans of bands such as Panopticon and Wolves in the Throne Room, and this music can be a perfect companion when taking on nature. The deep freeze will be here soon enough, and Eneferens will be the perfect medicine to get us all through the dark months we so enjoy.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/eneferens
To buy the album, go here: https://shop.bindrunerecordings.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://bindrunerecordings.com/
And here: https://www.nordvis.com/