Enchantya is a Portuguese Melodic Metal band formed in 2004. Cerebrus is their third studio album since formation and the first in four years, thanks to the pandemic. They had more time to spend on the creative side of this record, taking advantage of the time to build a more immense, melodic, epic soundscape, weaving in more comprehensive orchestration to compliment the electric instruments. Fusing classic and modern instruments with clean and harsh vocals, they have designed a sound that is timeless and very much in the present.
- Rute Fevereiro – Clean/Harsh Vocals
- Fernando Campos – Lead Guitars
- Pedro Antunes – Piano/Keyboards/Orchestration
- Fernando Barroso – Bass
- Bruno Guilherme – Drums
April 28, 2023 – Inverse Records https://www.inverse.fi
- All Down In Flames
- Lunar Fire
- Rising Star
- United We Stand
- Collective Souls
- Sons Of Chaos
You know an album will be a killer story when the first thing you get is “Karma.” There are no words, just chants, keys, and strings, but you know you will get the Symphonic/Power Metal you deserve. This is the good version of Karma, knowing you’ve been good and now you are reaping the reward. The Melodic goodness begins with “All Down In Flames,” a heavy riffed song with vocals that go from gritty to soaring to belting and have more choir voices backing all that up.
As you listen through the songs, you get the sense that this is a statement album. It is ambitious and takes some calculated risks. Using keyboards as lead instruments have become much more acceptable in the various Heavy Metal genres, but there is still a heavy desire for screaming guitars. Many bands use their keys only for ambiance and texture, but Enchantya uses guitars and keys interchangeably. Similarly, they also weave together vocal styles ranging from clean, classical tones to powerful belting and Death Metal growls and fry vocals.
There are specific things I love about this album. The music driving the first verse of “Alone” is absolutely fabulous. That drum line is pure beauty. When they shift away from that into the chorus section, the vocal climb is a bit odd and a lot fantastic. The way she flips over some of those notes is unique, and I love every one of those wails.
“Prana” is another short instrumental meant to introduce the next segment. This will present a theme that will carry us through “United We Stand.” This feels like the second act in a play, and I’m sure a deeper dive into the lyrics would provide the thematic tones for this section. The guitars on “Rising Star” open with such melodic beauty, then transition to chugging Power Metal, giving the song a blended feel of strength and beauty.
The opening chants of “Existence” have an Arabesque feel, as does the guitar. That continues as the intro’s second half runs its course. Once the main riff hits, all ethnic music is gone, and the Power Metal kicks into high gear. The Death Metal influence on the vocals, mixed with the classical belting, is quite lovely. Some of Rute’s clean tones remind me of Sharon Den Adel of Within Temptation, then she goes into a vocalization that edges close to Simone Simons of Epica, both of whom have stunning voices.
“Anima” initiates act three of the play. This instrumental has a more melancholy tone, making me think this is the end of the journey where the protagonist suffers through the final trial. There will be a battle, and the victor must reflect on what they’ve learned. “Inward’ is the song that wraps the album and finalizes the lesson we must learn from this journey through Enchantya’s collective mind.
There is a rough edge to the polished precision of this album. The whole thing is meticulously planned and executed. The flow of the music and the lyrics all lead to a logical conclusion. There is a lot to unpack on this record. The lyrics, the storyline, the occasional discordant harmonies, and the massive soundscape all combine to paint the story in a dramatic light.
Cerebrus is the three-headed dog in Greek mythology, so the fact this album has three acts is no surprise. Everything on this record feels intentional. They had four years, two of which were in a virtual lockdown, to design, hone, refine, and perfect this album. It was time very well spent.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 10
- Vocals – 10
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.60