A couple of years ago I reviewed the first Enos release “Chapter 1” and was immediately impressed by their blend of space rock and Orange Goblin style stoner metal. Aside from a few gigs they seem to have maintained a pretty low profile but this year come charging back with a brand new album on brand new label Stargun Music…and a doozy it is too!!!
The concept of Enos the chimp seems to remain from “Chapter 1” but musically Enos have pushed things forward dramatically and improved beyond all measure in the process. Enos now allow their music greater room to breathe and develop bringing together heavy stoner riffing with tripped out, mesmeric Pink Floydian excursions into deep space. As the atmospheric opener “…And Beyond” gives way to the muscular groove and bouncing riff of the title track it’s clear that Enos are trying to play on their own terms now and are less of the sum of their influences.
Where most “stoner” bands seek to pummel with a barrage of riffs, “Left For Dead” shows that this is clearly not the case here. Nearly 4 minutes of blissful “Dark Side Of The Moon” inspired Hammond driven laid back blues pass before the heavy kicks in. Even when the guitars hit stun it’s not a million miles away from Floyd, though filtered through a Sabbath/Sleep blender for good measure.
This opening trio of tracks very much sets the course for the rest of the album as it marries together the two strands of the band’s sound in perfect unison painting an overall picture of great light and shade. “Collisions”, intentionally or otherwise is the little brother of “The Great Gig In The Sky” whereas “Another Solution” ramps up the amps in true vintage fashion and delivers another hazy, lazy groove. Enos do throw in the odd curveball from time to time, for example “Obscured” is an acoustic blues complete with slide flourishes by way of Dave Gilmour and “Up ‘n’ Down” is another acoustic workout that comes across like Jimmy Page trying his hand at some bluegrass.
Enos should be praised, not just for the vast improvements in their sound and song writing but also for creating an album that succeeds in being diverse, intriguing, compelling, atmospheric and generally excellent all round. Stargun Music must take some credit. For a label so fresh into their career, this being their second release following the “Sonic Titans” compilation of 2012, they have shown remarkable foresight in taking on Enos based on their past releases and given them the platform to present such a fully formed piece of work. If this isn’t in my top 10 list for 2013 in 11 months time then it will have been a great year for music!!!
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall