Monday, December 30, 2019

Enon Chapel - "Enon Chapel" (Acephale Winter Productions, 2019)

Band: Enon Chapel
Title: Enon Chapel
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Time: 27.21 min
Release Date: 1st February 2019
Vote: 76/100

In these last days I realized that many US bands recently hosted on these putrid pages, like Pestilent Death, Atrament and Mudface, comes curiously from the sunny California. Well, also Enon Chapel, that I am going to present you today, comes from California but even from Michigan. Specifically, they are a duo founded in 2018 and composed of the multi-instrumentalist Balan and the singer/lead guitarist Meghan Wood, both very active with other projects. Under the moniker of Enon Chapel, they released an intriguing EP with the same title (that the Italian agency Anubi Press sent me some time ago) and edited by the small US label Acephale Winter Productions. After many listening sessions, I've to say that it's a shame that this label produced "Enon Chapel" in only 50 copies because I must anticipate already that it's so good it deserves attention from plenty of maniacs of the most cursed kind of metal out there: black metal!

To say the truth, I expected that "Enon Chapel" was perfect for my broken tastes since the band is influenced a lot not only by very raw bands of the calibre of Ildjarn and Bone Awl but also by black metal cults adored by me such as The Black Twilight Circle and the French Black Legions. So, throughout their 6-track EP, Enon Chapel plays basically raw black metal but this simple definition doesn't say anything about their sound in its entirety. In fact, their style is quite dynamic, also thanks to some little influences coming from death metal, thrash metal and punk. In addition, these two demons are good at creating more deepness into the music by playing not only some layered riffs but also a well technically played guitar solo in every song (except for "Anatomy Murder"), and this is a feature very atypical for every raw black metal band worthy of this name. Another interesting feature comes from the parsimonious use of the keyboards, that gives a creepy and cemeterial atmosphere to songs such as "Miasma from the Charnel House", "Anatomy Murder" and "The Unscrupulous Reverend Howse"; an atmosphere that, in other cases, is very cold as in the most classic black metal tradition, also thanks to parts in which there are freezing arpeggios.

It isn't a case if before I said "cemeterial". At this point, you have to know that the lyrical concept of Enon Chapel is about, as written in the info sheet in my possession, "the darker aspects of Victorian Era London... and the burial crisis of the first parts of the century which saw London cemeteries literally bursting with rotting corpses...". In particular, the Enon Chapel's moniker was taken by a building in London built around 1823 and sadly famous for its vault in which there were buried piles of dead bodies in a timeline of only 20 years. Instead, the closing song "The Unscrupulous Reverend Howse" is titled after the keeper of the same Enon Chapel. Fuck, at times it's really fantastic what you can learn through the metal music!
Speaking again about the music, there is need to say that "Enon Chapel" is characterized by a good variety. I am saying this also because its first part is more based on the up-tempos, as expressed by "Miasma from the Charnel House" (that is the first track in the list to be opened by a spoken sample taken from somewhere) and "Anatomy Murder" (which has a great mid-tempo punkish section) while the second part is more blast-beat-oriented, as perfectly expressed by "Seance", surely the most violent number in the EP, even though also it is well balanced between the fast and the slower tempos. Very nice is also "The Lodger", that has some riffs with a sort of oriental feeling. Instead, "Eldritch" is a long, atmospheric intro that, fun fact, contains some guitar effects reminding me a lot of... the "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (1994) movie! There's also an outro but it's included into that 8-minute tour de force known as "The Unscrupulous Reverend Howse".

All in all, "Enon Chapel" is a good slab of a black metal which is able to be raw but dynamic at the same time, having also the merit to be violent or cemeterial in according to the different situations. This is only a debut EP but it shows already so much potentialities that I'm very excited to listen to new stuff by Enon Chapel. So, give them a try... and let yourself be drowned by a smelly ocean of putrefying dead bodies!


1 - Eldritch (intro)
2 - Miasma from the Charnel House
3 - Anatomy Murder
4 - Seance
5 - The Lodger
6 - The Unscrupulous Reverend Howse


Meghan Wood - vocals/lead guitars/samples
Balan - guitars/bass/drums/keyboards/samples (guitar solo on "Seance")

Acephale Winter Records:
Anubi Press:

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