Arpitanian Lands


ENISUM are steadily becoming one of Italy's most original and most popular Black Metal acts. […]
By Danny Sanderson
May 16, 2016
Enisum - Arpitanian Lands album cover

ENISUM are steadily becoming one of Italy's most original and most popular Black Metal acts. Over the last decade, they have put out four really solid records, made up of dark yet atmospheric Black Metal that has established the Piedmont based three piece as one of the premier acts in the Italian underground. Their latest record, "Arpitanian Lands", is arguably their greatest record to date, and could likely see this band burst out of the underground and onto the consciousness of the scene at large in Europe and beyond.

The opening, titular track is a serene piece of very epic, powerful music, with some great, almost operatic vocals and a mesmerising guitar line. This is a song that slowly builds, becoming much thicker and darker than the first few moments of this song imply. The main motif of this song is a really fast, airy piece of Black Metal with pounding drums and vicious vocals. There's plenty of great ambient sections in amongst this, helping to beef out the already monolithic sound on this particular song. The following track, "Alpine Peaks", is every bit as dark and visceral as the first one was reserved and musically eclectic and focused. This is a really intense, focused slab of bestial, almost primal Black Metal. It's only towards this album final moments that the speed and aggression prevalent throughout most of this song begin to subside to some degree, but it is still noticeably there in the music. "Chiusella's Waters" takes the listener down another musical path, with distorted providing the initial hooks and eventually evolving into something that has softer, ethereal sections that are quite reminiscent of Shoegaze. Although we get lots of Black Metals archetypical raging riffs and morose shrieks as this song develops, this softer element is always present, in the excellent guitar licks and the clean, chanting choruses. The albums fourth offering, "Mountains Spirit", takes a much more mid-paced, epic and brooding musical approach than the first three songs. The guitars are much harder, backed up by some really authoritative drums and topped off with some dreary, forlorn vocal performances. At points, it bears a striking resemblance, as far as sound and tone goes, with a band like WINTERFYLLETH. This is, up until this point, the albums peak, and only a couple of tracks on the rest of the album match or even surpass this magnificent piece of music.

"Rociamlon" is an incredibly fierce, almost chaotic, blast of energetic and grandiose musicianship. This tumultuous tune is a far cry from the earlier efforts on the album, which are decidedly more measured and bombastic in their musical delivery. It's nonetheless and awesome track that provides plenty of whirling, vitriolic guitar licks and has a genuinely abrasive and almost atonal quality about it that sets it apart from the vast majority of the record. "Fauna's Souls" is an amazing track, which opens with a few Folk flourishes, hair-raising chanted vocal lines and clean, almost acoustic guitar sections. This quickly descends into a gargantuan and dramatic display of rousing Pagan Black Metal, with some of the most brilliantly vile, rasping vocals, and a few sweet, melodic licks that cement this as one of the albums best moments. "The Place Where You Died" is an incredibly bleak sounding track, which, compared with the other songs on the record, crawls forward at an almost funeral dirge, gradually getting faster and faster as the track progresses. It's an incredibly epic piece of music that is brilliant on all fronts sound wise. "Desperate Souls", the albums penultimate offering, is a really solid track with a lot of good music on it. It's a good piece of Atmospheric Black Metal, but it doesn't feel like a very climactic song that provides some of the albums most impressive moments, which, as the second to last track on a record, it should be. The albums final offering, "Sunsets On My Path", is another great song that builds from an initial, much more minimal and atmospheric guitar line evocative of Shoe-Gaze, and becomes a much more monumental, speed-driven and ferocious song, which blends bestial Black Metal sections with cleaner and more epic sounds. The chanted vocal parts which are applied liberally throughout this closing number sound excellent, and add a brilliant contrast with this tracks darker and more vicious passages. As the final ambience tinged moments fade away, and the album concludes, it's safe to say that this song leaves the listener longing for more.

This album is not your typical Atmospheric Black Metal record. That musical tag brings to mind plenty of bands like CALADAN BROOD, UTTSTOTT and EMYN MUIL. This band, and their music, is something else altogether. Although you can definitely hear a lot of the traditional sounds of this sub-genre within this album, there's a lot of different elements thrown into the mix, from Shoe-Gaze to Folk Music, which give this album its own distinct sound and flavour. It's a testament to how good this record is that, despite the fact this album is just over an hour in length, their are few dull moments on here to pick out. This is amazing, from the first notes right through to the last ones, and it stands as this bands most impressive and enduring records out of the four that they have put out in their storied decade long existence. Hopefully, whatever they release next will be just as good as this masterpiece of a record.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Arpitanian Lands" Track-listing:

1. Arpitanian Lands
2. Alpine Peaks
3. Chiusella's Waters
4. Mountain's Spirit
5. Rociamlon
6. Fauna's Souls
7. The Place Where You Died
8. Desperate Souls
9. Sunsets on My Path

Enisum Lineup:

Lys- Guitars, Vocals, Drums
Leynir- Bass
Epheliin- Vocals

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