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Enchant: The Great Divide

The return of Enchant after more than a decade away is as welcome as it is surprising. In the meantime since 2003's Tug Of War album singer Ted Leonard has featured prominently with Spock's Beard, Affector and Thought Chamber, Bill Jenkins added his keyboard skills to recent sensations Sound Of Contact, while guitarist Doug Ott focused more on production duties for other bands. So with all that on the go, it is impressive that it is the same five musicians who gave us that excellent Tug Of War who now serve up The Great Divide, Ed Platt (bass) and Sean Flanegan (drums) rounding out the quintet in fine style.

However there's no denying time does change us all and with that in mind, The Great Divide does find a slightly evolved Enchant, this latest offering being the bands most inclusive affair. Rather than Ott, as has been the case previously, writing almost all of the material, this album is a band collaboration and therefore, while from start to finish the only outfit this could be is Enchant, there are still some new elements to savour. A smoother more rounded, slightly less abrasive sound, trance inducing as it leaves your speakers. What hasn't changed however is this band's ability to mingle choruses to die for with musicianship of the highest order, turning songs such as "Deserve To Feel" from catchy as hell sing-alongs, into captivating masterclasses in music-craft; Ott's closing guitar solo a thing of jaw dropping beauty and skill.

As ever with Enchant, the overall feeling is of Prog-Metal with a stronger eye for the Prog than the Metal, big riffs and killer drums merely driving on a selection of more refined ideas which expertly walk the fine line between exuberant and tightly focused. The closing "Here And Now" is a perfect example of how Enchant sprinkle their dust, a busy yet unobtrusive keyboard melody setting the tone for the drums to pop, roll and crash in unison, while somehow the overall vibe still seems more caring and inviting than boisterous or grandiose. It is a very clever and difficult trick to pull, but time and again the pumpingly exciting "Circles", the punchingly refined "Transparent Man" and the instantly melodious "Life In A Shadow" illustrate the many sides of this wonderful band.

All five musicians are faultless throughout, the interplay between Ott, Jenkins, Platt and Flanegan a balance where all four shine, yet no one individual dominates, while Leonard puts in a vocal display that really does mark him out as one of Prog's finest frontmen.

It may have been A Great Divide of time since we were last enchanted, however with this latest - and hopefully momentum building - album, we are once again controlled by Enchant's magic touch. It's a spell you won't be looking to break any time soon.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Circles
2. Within An Inch
3. The Great Divide
4. All Mixed Up
5. Transparent Man
6. Life In A Shadow
7. Deserve To Feel
8. Here And Now

Added: September 27th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Enchant oline
Hits: 3206
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Enchant: The Great Divide
Posted by Jorge Alzate on 2020-02-16 23:58:49
My Score:

Excellent and informed review. Enchant is sinfully underappreciated so I am grateful to see your thorough analysis of this outstanding work by expert and talented musicians. They are my favorite band.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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