A SHINE OF DARKNESS
When you can take heavy metal, add a killer female voice, and an epic twist, you have a winner, and Enuma Elish does a great job of carrying that off.
The sound here can really be explained in two words; Oriana Shadows. She is the lead vocalist here, and her at times near operatic soprano voice carries this CD. That is a good thing. Her voice is a great contrast to the guitar work of David Escudero and the keyboard work of David Inbernom. The keyboard effort here really lays down the underpinnings of the music.
Hailing from Spain, Enuma Elish falls somewhere near the realm of symphonic metal in terms of approach, although their instrumental range is limited to the more traditional metal range. That said there is only one guitarist.
While the music is definitely metallic, it is not overpowering to the sound here. In fact, for some I suspect it may not be quite 'hard' enough. It really hits in the pocket between extremes.
Lyrically, like the best of symphonic-style, Enuma Elish paints large pictures with their words. They are epic in approach. That is not to say at times the lyrics aren't a bit over-the-top, and melodramatic, but that really speaks to the genre as much as this band's particular approach.
Make no mistake, this style of metal is an acquired taste. Traditionalists, those married to AC/DC and Metallica, will likely see this as too forced and dare I suggest 'flowery'.
However, those who have found symphonic metal to open doors to fantastic, epic story lines, and a sound that builds on guitars with a fuller sound approach are going to totally be at home and comfortable listening to A Shine of Darkness.
They will also become quick fans of Oriana Shadows, who really does have a memorable voice for the style.
A definite must if you are already a fan of the genre. If not, this is quite accessible in terms of entering into the world of symphonic-influenced metal since it is not fully symphonic, but does lean that way in its approach.
Very solid, pick it up.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 9, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada