Reviewer: Tarek - 2014-05-11
Highlights: you better listen to the whole album
ENRAGED are back!!! 3 years passed since the old well known Egyptian Thrash band ENRAGED has announced their long awaited album "Jeremiad" which they split after that into two EPs, and the first question that came to my head listening to the EP was: is this ENRAGED? These guys have crossed a long road since the first time I saw them in a live show 6 years ago and the two years they disappeared since 2012 working on the EP had certainly payed off.
As you listen to this 5-track EP, you figure out that the band style shows a big divergence taking a more Symphonic approach with an oriental point of view, yet it is still loyal to their older roots compining two worlds together. Starting from the first instrumental track "Kemet", you can sense these sneaky oriental touchs constructing some atmospheric aura around the music basiclly made by the keys, with a nice guitar solo keeping a mid-tempo speed along the track for putting you in the mood for the next tracks but what really made the track special for my ears was the bass line. This guy can really add small beautiful notes here and there but if lifts the whole track big time.
After that, we get down directly to business with more aggresive tracks where you can witness that the old headbanging ENRAGED-style has been tamed a little bit to a more mature style with more well constructed riffs and breaks, where some of the parts reminded me of MELECHESH and DISTORTED, such as in "Ma'at", where the track keeps bouncing from the high-tempo oriental guitar riffs as in the intro to the more slower vocal parts where you can find more Symphonic influences and they do that swing beautifully with powerfull keyboard chords and arpegios accompanying most of the track.
After listening to the whole album, I found myself replaying "Accomplices" over and over. I felt the passion I saw when these guys talk about their work and music and it was my favourite track along this EP, being a more agressive and closer to the old ENRAGED, and the two singers nailed it with the synthetic vocals in the middle that riched the story. The last part was my highlight through this album, where the long awaited adrenaline rush I was promised has came finally to me listening to this riff, which showed me much enthusiasm and power I owe to the angry vocals and the speedy double pedal drumming.
The final track in the EP is the one that carries the album's name "Jeremiad". It starts with a memorable bass riff backing the clean vocals which showed more wider voice ranges than the rest of the tracks going from clean to wispers to harsh vocals and a scream in the middle, which I hoped I could have heard more of along the tracks to offer more edge and power. The track and the EP ends with a nice guitar harmony over the double pedals leaving us for the next EP to complete the story.
Maybe the most enjoyable parts for me in this album were those short bridges and breaks between the verses, built by the guiar arpegios and harmony along the keyboard chords and strings, but the bass work was really the hero there, with these small riffs I always catch him doing behind the arpeggios and between the chords as in the intro of "Jeremiad" and his sound came really groovy and clear along the album.
Also, Rasha's sound has grown to a warmer deeper voice and was almost always in the right place, but I felt the male clean vocal lacked energy in some parts for me, but he compensates with his wispers and harsh screams here and there which raised his act up. The guitars' sound has gone along way from their start regarding sound and construction wise, but a little more effort regarding the originality of the riffs feels much needed for me in the upcoming work.
The art work seems really professional and breath taking coming from Darkgrove Studios and the production and recording coming from Vibe Studios, was the first thing that caught my ear being really decent and almost free of glitches which is a rare thing in the Egyptian scene, but it seems more bands day after day are getting the ability to record some good quality music and present better artworks and with the apperance of more professional studios supporting the Metal bands, the whole scene seems much promising for more first class releases to be seen.
"Jeremiad" tells the story of a visionary who foresees the downfall of society touching on themes such as spirituality, political conflict and personal struggles with a promise of a second EP on early 2015 under the name "Jahr" continuing the story, and with the way "Jeremiad" has turned out every Metal fan out there should look out for it because without doubt we are on for a great ride with these guys.