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Enochian Theory: Evolution Creation Ex Nihilio

First full length album from a band who have been on my radar since hearing the excellent download single 'Namyamka', originally released back in 2007. Since that time internal upheavals have led to the departure of guitarist and founder member Scott Ware but the remaining trio of Sam Street (drums), Ben Harris-Hayes (vocals and guitars) and Shaun Rayment (bass) have pushed on and Evolution: Creation Ex Nihilio is the end product of a lot of hard work and perseverance. The basic trio are supplemented by what is termed as the Lost Orchestra on keyboards and additional sounds and orchestration and this expanded element is very much a key feature of the Enochian Theory sound. Whilst they have been warmly welcomed by some key players in the industry they are very much a self-sufficient operation who have released this on their own label and so consequently on their own terms. The attention to detail spans not just the music but also the striking artwork and packaging and also noteworthy is the involvement of Swedish producer David Castillo (Opeth, Katatonia, InMe).

For a three piece they have a huge, anthemic sound that on the surface often seems light and reflective but with a simmering dark undercurrent that makes for a compelling experience, nowhere is this better evidenced than the psychotic 'A Monument to the Death of an Idea' or the three part epic that is 'The Dimensionless Monologue'. But to take one or two songs in isolation does the rest a disservice as the thirteen tracks are best appreciated as a whole. Modern prog, prog metal, melodic metal are all tags that could arguably be applied here but Enochian Theory are not a band that can be easily pigeonholed and the bottom line is big, stuttering riffs with varied arrangements. The aching isolation of 'The Fire Around The Lotus' finds the vocals deviating between Muse-like melodica to death metal aggression and is shotgun blast effective. 'Apathia' is a doomy brew of brutal, thunderous riffing that boasts some delicate clean guitar lines in the mid-section breakdown before the Lost Orchestra take over for the coda. Contrast this with the careworn, sweeping ballad that is 'Movement' and you will have a good indication of the sheer diversity that is much in evidence. Elsewhere, 'Waves of Ascension ' and 'The Living Continuum' both evoke an ethereal landscape full of atmosphere and emotion.

To sum up this is wonderfully crafted and executed release and even more importantly ends up being best described as unique. Unquestionably the kind of album that reveals more with each subsequent listen it will be on my playlist for a considerable period of time. Keep an eye out for this band they have a great future ahead of them.

Track Listing
1. Every Ending Has A Beginning
2. The Dimensionless Monologue i Tedium
3. The Dimensionless Monologue ii The Dimensionless Monologue
4. The Dimensionless Monologue iii T.D.M.
5. At Great Odds With
6. Apathia
7. Triumvarate
8. Movement
9. After The Movement
10. Waves of Ascension
11. The Fire Around The Lotus
12. The Living Continuum
13. A Monument To The Death Of An Idea

Added: June 8th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3994
Language: english

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Enochian Theory: Evolution Creation Ex Nihilio
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-12-26 08:48:20
My Score:

Pulling in influences from the less abrasive moments of Porcupine Tree, or the non death metal Opeth output, "Evolution Creatio Ex Nihilio" is the second album from UK prog rock three piece Enochian Theory. Now I have to admit that this album has taken a lot of listening effort to break down and truly appreciate and I can confidently state that if you are looking for an instant quick fix, then this is not an album for you. If however something a little (or a lot in actual fact) deeper, with layers of complexity, deep intensive moods and an extremely earnest outlook sounds like an album you could learn to love, then "ECEN" may be exactly what you are looking for.

I say that the band are a three piece, however the credits on the album name Ben Harris Hayes (vocals/guitar), Shaun Rayment (bass) and Sam Street (drums) alongside "The Lost Orchestra", whose piano, synthesizer, "extra sounds" and "orchestral performance" are an integral part of the sweepingly dramatic themes of this album. Most of the songs contain swaying, yet melancholic strings at some stage and in certain cases this aspect of the album actually dominates proceedings. Hayes voice too is right at the forefront of everything that is going on here, with a fragile, slightly wavering delivery adding to the fraught intentions of the music. In fact this album is full of extremes, with the music either being darkly brooding with clean guitars darting in and out of the string arrangements and Hayes voice laying on heart-break, or full on manic riffs and growls - although the latter aspect is certainly not relied on too often. This is not stuff for the faint hearted and as I mentioned earlier, true perseverance really is required to unlock the beauty that is held deep within this album. The effort is worth it, although I did find that it took me the best part of a couple of weeks to really get back the satisfaction that matched the effort I had put in and for some that may just be too much like hard work. Even now there are still some songs that leave me rather cold.

There's no doubting the skill of the song writing or the arrangements on "Evolution Creatio Ex Nihilio" and the likes of the three songs that make up "The Dimensionless Monologue", namely "Tedium", "The Dimensionless Monologue" and "TDM" are immensely impressive works that highlight the skilful and tasteful playing of Hayes, Rayment and the especially impressive Street. However it is also necessary to point out that the likes of "After The Movement" which is an entirely orchestral piece, or the ambient noise of "Triumvarate" do nothing to move the album along and after repeated listens become increasingly frustrating to sit through.

On the whole Enochian Theory have come up with a hugely involving and moving set of songs that stand up to intensive scrutiny, but at times can become a little too clever for their own good. Either way, this is band that with a little fine honing could well become a major player in progressive rock.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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