With their 1995 debut, A Blueprint of the World, Enchant made a severe mark on the progressive rock world, and left everyone wondering if they were to be the next golden boys that might restore glory to this most noble of artforms. Blueprint remains one of the best debut albums ever, and their second album, Wounded , is a worthy successor.
Enchant is that most magical of combinations: a group of talented songwriters who are also capable of performing those same songs with a full measure of the heart and soul necessary to make such compositions timeless. Their work instantly takes its place alongside such genre-gods as Dream Theater, Gentle Giant and Genesis, and the vibrancy they pour into the songs on Wounded makes them more promising than any of their predecessors.
The album starts out with the driving, swirling "Below Zero," a relatively slow piece that has an inertia of its own mainly due to the incomparable vocals of Ted Leonard, whose beautiful tone is always matched by the emotion he puts into his work. We are then led into "Fade 2 Grey," a simply gorgeous song about growing old that rivals the Rush classic "Losing It" in terms of poignancy, beauty and majesty.
Blueprint had an interesting distinction: it was partly produced by Steve Rothery, the unbelievably inventive guitarist from Marillion. And although Wounded does not owe a production credit to Rothery, his mentoring spirit is still present throughout these mature, sometimes somber tunes, and you can almost hear Steve's mournful tones, especially in the opening to "Hostile World".
Enchant stands poised to become the world's premier progressive rock band; if people would just put down their Zima for a moment, and turn off the mediocre sitcoms and half-baked pop-folk music, they might notice that they are in the presence of true, enduring brilliance.