Enoch – The Hierophant

RAIG Records has done it again. Of all releases I received in their latest package, Enoch‘s The Hierophant seemed as the most dense, kind of hard to get into. But, as time is always at my side, I succeeded in understanding the music coming out of my speakers. I have to admit that, considering a definition of what hierophant is and what we’ve got here, it’s a pretty tough task to find some kind of bond between these two. Namely, a hierophant is an interpreter of sacred mysteries and arcane principles. I don’t know how much this Asheville trio tries to personify the meaning of hierophantism, but there’s for sure something in their music what makes you think that way.

Maybe this guys do not interpret sacred things, but what they actually provide is a very good blend of heavy psychedelia, doom and noise rock. It seems like the Enoch’s tendency through this release was to make an album that shows off a sound dirtiness in every possible meaning. With t he addition of distorted guitars to their already distorted sound, it’s clear that The Hierophant is a release that has a pretty high tolerance for such things. This is certainly is not an album that you may want listen to before you sleep, it requires the right mood. It’s probably best that you don’t even try to form an opinion of it even after several tries, The Hierophant is a recording that needs to be analyzed down to its core. As soon as the album kicks off there is an omnipresent feeling of some kind of disorder and I cannot tell you with an assurance what is it about. Sometimes you may think that the sound presented here reaches beyond the limitations of healthy musicianship, in a good way certainly. This is connected with pretty wide influential spectrum, which brings to mind the likes of Electric Wizard, Stinking Lizaveta, YOB, Ramesses, Ufomammut, to name just a few.

To make this clear, if you survive the album’s opener, the almost ten minute long greasily-groovily track Infinity, then you should not worry about getting to its end. Namely, this track will drain your brain out of your skull by starting, on moments, unbearable intensity reached out with repetitive screams and psychotic drumwork. Personally, I find this track very suitable with my personality and I might say that this one describes me pretty well. After the opening anxiety, the things become a bit clearer and since The Fickle Whims of the Almighty the albums gets on receptivity, with a slightly recognizable fuzziness in some particular parts. The song starts on a similar theme as the album’s opener and together with the opener and the upcoming Space Wizard and Plague Bearer, build up the album’s spine. Space Wizard reminds me, occasionally, of Electric Wizard’s doomyness (I wonder if there’s some kind of connection…) I have to underline here a closing part of this song which always makes me want to blast my speaker volume to the maximum, due to some top-notch riffage. On the other side, Plague Bearer copes with with a slightly doomier sound that develops into a psychedelic cannonade, after a dully start.


If the previously mentioned tracks build the spine of The Hierophant, the title track is a certainly its appendix. Or it should be. This piece, which clocks at almost 17 minutes, appears to be undeveloped, as there is a bunch of riffs at the beginning which are apparently rambled around. It takes almost 5 minutes until something starts to happen but it seems to happen suddenly, as the music fades away and you may think that the song ended.. Coming forth, the band employs atmospheric elements mixed up with droning guitars that further develop into heavy psychedelia. In my opinion, this song feels more like a filler track than anything worthwhile.

The Heirophant has three further tracks that are a similar style to the first ones. The closing A Riff Too Far delves into fuzziness based upon stoney beats and emphasized cymbaling. After a speedy start, the track gets slower but also intense, keeping the intensity of this 66 minutes long sonic journey traced back with Infinity.

As I stated, to absorb what this album offers, you have to be patient. Decide for yourself how you will distribute these eight tracks. No matter if you decide to chew it in its entirety or piece by piece, The Hierophant has a potential to become a significant part of your every meal.

Tracklist:

01. Infinity

02. The Fickle Whims of the Almighty

03. Space Wizard

04. Plague Bearer

05. The Hierophant

06. Moth

07. Robbie’s Song

08. A Riff Too Far

Line-up:

* Dave Lynch – guitar, vocals

* Neal Wilson – bass

* Charles Howes – bass

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/enochnc

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.
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