Label: Signal Rex
There’s something about this release that’s hard to put my finger on. A certain sense of otherness, as if what is being heard does not quite fit in with the world around it – and yet, at the same time, there is the feeling that the music made by Enlighten on Phösphorvs Paramovnt is thoroughly human. Yet it’s human in the sense that, as so many have since the dawn of time, it is searching for something just beyond reach, as if some other-worldly spirit were guiding them towards the darkness. And as that might suggest, the course of their journey has led the band to produce some rather striking black/death metal, that goes beyond the mundane and is impressive in its atmosphere and power.
The first thing that hits you is raw power; opener “Phosphorvs Lvithn” begins with excellent blasting drums and punishing guitar work, high in energy and force. The song twists and turns, refusing to be pinned down, and as we reach the end, a sense of discord abounds. Melodic bass-lines combine with guitar lines that seem slightly out of tune, and the effect is unsettling and captivating; the glorious wrongness of what is being heard is impossible to deny, and very effective. It brings to mind the likes of Atheist as much as Deathspell Omega, and it’s a wonder that more bands haven’t attempted movements like this.
“Devourer Ov Stars” shows that this is no one-off. Opening at a crawling tempo, strong guitar leads bury whispered vocals suggesting some profane ritual, before the drums begin blasting away, moving the song in to more typical – but no less exciting – black metal territory. The guitars take centre-stage throughout this song, and the leads paint a picture as vivid as any lyrics could. “Svlphvr Bread” keeps this feeling going, though the tortured vocals are now front and centre, making their pain clear to all. The conclusion to the song is especially striking, as everything suddenly drops out without warning – the effect is quite disorientating, especially considering how intense the proceeding music has been.
And then closer “Glömvng” throws a real surprise at the listener; featuring absolutely no metal at all, the song is instead a gorgeous combination of subtle strings and beautiful piano, and is quite a contrast with what has gone before. It’s an unexpected ending, but no less a glorious one for that, and somehow, the mood and tone of it suits the record well.
Over the course of this EP, it becomes clear that this is music of oblivion, not just of death but of ending, of something that goes beyond humanity. And at the same time, it bristles with (otherworldly) energy, as if the musicians responsible have tapped in to something that lies beyond the realms of this world, and have glimpsed something greater than ourselves. That is the chief feeling throughout Phösphorvs Paramovnt – that sense of the other. It’s a remarkably unsettling feeling, and one that makes the EP a captivating, superb listen.