EnChanTya is a Gothic Progressive Metal band from Portugal. “Dark Rising”, their debut album, was released in September 2012 by Massacre Records.
EnChanTya vocalist Rute Fevereiro was the lead vocalist in the gothic doom band Naven from 1995 to 1998 and was also the founder of the first all female Portuguese metal band “Black Widows”.
She founded EnChanTya, initially as a solo project, in 2006. Rute has also performed with Poseidon’s Anger and Ancient Rites.
‘Dark Rising’ starts with ‘Unwavering Faith’. This employs a spiral of sounds that radiate out from the centre like capricious circles of golden light. This is an exquisitely beautiful start. But then a hollow siren sound awakens the nervous senses. And the ice effortlessly melts. And then we fall into ‘No Stars in the Sky’. A complicated ruffled riff takes hold and bounds into view, as Rute’s voice majestically unfolds. This is set against a rising keyboard and withering bass work (Manuel “MP” Pinto.) This is a grandiose and delightful start.
‘Night in Whisper’ is grander and far more orchestral in scope. The format is quite easily recognizable to all fans of female-fronted symphonic rock. The addition of progressive keyboards and sighing guitars adds a velvety lustre to the output.
‘Clad in Black’ is bass dependent and effervescent. Yawning guitars rattle along the pathway. This is the first time on the album that we witness the extraordinary range of Rute, as she provides the death growls and witch-cries to her palette of colours and textures.
‘Longing for You’ is properly symphonic. You can feel the rush of air as it blows your wayward locks upwards – and watch the lonely raven as he travels the moonlit sky. Brazenly beautiful
‘She Devil’ begins with what sounds like a Bontempi organ played by a mischievous elf. But no matter, the angular riffs more than make up for the sudden elfish intrusion. But what is this? Mr. Bontempi rises again for ‘Ocean Drops’. Can’t they drown the little bastard?
Luckily, we have the title track ‘Dark Rising’ to look forward to. This has chunks of appetizing riff slung about like discarded fruit-cake at a chimpanzees tea party. Rute once again rises to the occasion, weaving a mysterious spell high over the whole scene – vanquishing all other sounds with the power of her mighty lungs.This is metallic opera with an emphasis on the lyrical. It is gnashingly good. The sighing guitars add just the right amount of piquancy to the dish. What a show!
Having now throttled that bloody elf, a sensitive keyboard player (Luis “Vlad Vampire” Fernandes) takes on the ivories and creates a moving and beautiful introduction to the noble animal that is the track ‘Winter Dreams’. You can feel the snowflakes landing on your forehead, and your unloved hand will tremble in the frosted air. This is a magnificently illustrated spectacle. And one that you will not forget.
‘Fear Me When You Fall’ is awkward here. It is progressive and electronic. It has spatters of drums and bleeps of sound. It is like a blood spattered footpath. Best dare not go down it.
Finishing with ‘Moonlighting the Dreamer’ with those obsessively haunting owl-type calls at the start. You can easily imagine that you are trapped in a dark forest infested by bitter tempered wolfs. Better to run as soon as possible, to clear some distance. It feels as if you are being chased, and that is Rute growling close behind you. But the offer of salvation comes from the fog – dressed in a crimson dress and holding a beam of pure light. Huge plumes of fire are built up by the guitars, and these dance and frolic in the clearing. Then vast pinnacles of blanched goodness totally consume you. Drums ( João Monteiro) are sputtering and fast and the whole thing is achieved with maximum theatre – and piles and piles of grand imagery. It is all amazing stuff.
This is an epic and moving album from a band who can now claim mastery over any enchantment and conjuration that is needed to be able to successfully rival such bands as Delain and Edenbridge.
All hail EnChanTya.
-© Neil_Mach January 2013-