Gifts From Enola – From Fathoms
Record Label: The Mylene Sheath
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Count on From Fathoms. Its dramatic, monumental skeleton is formidable and entrancing. Gifts From Enola didn’t simply type their formula into the Almighty Post-Rock Calculator. They took brooding atmospheres and injected them with ghastly screams, driving beats and more than enough enigmatic head-scratching.
The band is the same but it isn’t. Line-up changes and the opportunity to record outside of their claustrophobic bedrooms has turned From Fathoms into a mesmerizing homage to all things BIG. Album epicenter “Trieste”, for example, purposefully eludes any overt need to crush our brains during its 12-minute runtime. The build-up becomes a long plateau of trashcan guitars and Acid-Test rave beats, but if all that sounds too nutty – I’ve been doing too many crosswords lately – just know that From Fathoms is a glorious breath of fresh, cerebral air.
More Moving Mountains than EITS, “Resurface” features intermittent singing and a chaotic entangling of rising guitar swirls and foot-stomping drums. It’s almost like Gifts From Enola didn’t fully understand where each new step would lead them, yet there’s a trust in their songwriting that seems to create confidence with each new note. And still, for every unexpected moment (like the acoustic outro of “Resurface”), there’s more than enough driving rock (“Thawed Horizon”). It’s instrumental music that possesses tricks by the truckload. The From Monument To Masses-esque “Weightless Frame” is another new turn for the band with its reliance on electronics and smart usages of “found” sounds. Before you say it, fine, this has been done before, but there’s something to be said for a band who know in every fiber of their being that they can do it better.
While they take successful stabs at the niche genres within instrumental music, there is still plenty of stick-to-your-guns gut punches. Closer “Aves” is just as melodic as it is violent. The three guitarists of Gifts From Enola move in and out of ridiculously difficult riffage into stunningly forceful walls o’ sound. And any fan of the band will realize that this is the last song: there must, excuse me, MUST be a payoff the size of an atom bomb. Jud Mason’s drums lead the way into a climax that’s expected but different. We aren’t pummeled into that mildly anti-social motion of looking at the floor and banging our heads. Instead we look up at our friends, grab the closest air guitar, and start wailing away like the mad men that we so wish to be. Group singing in the background adds to the excitement and also serves as one last reminder that this band is going wherever the hell they want. And please, I beg you: don’t try to stop them.
Recommended If You Like: From Monuments To Masses, Beware Of Safety, guardian angels, Moving Mountains, shade-giving trees
great review blake! i used to play in a band that toured with these guys and am lucky enough to have had the album for a couple months. it is amazing and gets better with every listen. there are so many little nuances that you catch something new every time. i highly recommend picking it up and going to see them on tour this summer, they're playing all across the country!