Enemies is the second album from melodic death metal band Marionette, following on and indeed using the same mould as 2009's debut album Spite. Blending together melodic guitar lines and atmospheric almost neo-prog keyboards with harsh screams and squeals and blistering, crunching guitars, Marionette have the ferocious impact and melodic sensibilities to appeal to a large cross section of music lovers who can approach this style of metal with an open mind.
The musicianship and production on this disc are of the highest order and considering that this is only the band's second full length offering, the conviction and confidence displayed is impressive and not displaced. The majority of Enemies is played at break neck speed with death metal riffage and those tortured howls being the initial focal point, however dig a little deeper and the singing, stinging guitar lines add another dimension to the music that adds a depth that makes repeat visits extremely rewarding.
The first track that really revealed its true identity to me was "Through Veils" as the swirling, swooping keyboards perked up the neo-progster in me. You could easily lift the keys from this track and place them on an album by the likes of IQ or Arena and not find them in the slightest out of place. Marionette are not the first band to mix keys with intense guitars or "Gothenburg style" vocals, however on Enemies the blend sounds so natural that they are one of the few bands who I would say aren't featuring them as a "gimmick".
The songs are in the main short, sharp smacks of intensity and while style wise they nearly all fit into the same mould, Marionette are smart enough to keep most the tracks quite brief so that fatigue never sets in and every new assault hits with the same precise force. The likes of "Anthropomorphism" with its Dalek like vocal, "Your Hands" and "Their Knives" all flash past in a blur of fury, however the pace is mixed up well with the short keyboard build of "The Slaughter" and the slow melt down of closing track "The Truth" which ends the album with a calmness not shown elsewhere.
Marionette have taken a few familiar blueprints and rewritten them into something slightly different and individual and deserve a lot of credit for achieving that whilst putting together some tremendously well written and performed songs.
With Enemies like these, who needs friends!?
1. The Swine
2. Silver Spoon
3. Stench Of The Herd
7. The Slaughter
8. The Lie
9. Your Hands
11. Through Veils
12. Their Knives
13. The Truth
Added: February 4th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
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