Ensnared – Inimicus Generis Humani

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Dark Descent Records / Invictus Productions
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/inimicus-generis-humani
Band Website: Ensnared (SWE) | Home

BAND LINE-UP:

H.K – guitar, vocals
J.K – drums

TRACKLISTING:

1. Interlude I
2. Spiritual Necrosis
3. The Throne Of Transformation
4. Interlude II
5. Disciples Of The Whip
6. Interlude III
7. Karthasis Through Terror
8. Black Hole Accolytes

REVIEW:

Inimicus Generis Humani (Latin for ‘enemy of the human race’) has an ancient aesthetic, and this is very clear from the outset with its analog recording. There are three interlude tracks on Ensnared’s sophomore album, the most interesting one being the opener with its ethereal keys interwoven with riffs.

’Spiritual Necrosis’ builds up with some ghostly-sounding ringing, before a barrage of heavy instruments are introduced, followed by opening lyrics “The spirit dies before the flesh” that reference the song title. Towards the end of the the track, there are some effects which give ’Spiritual Necrosis’ an otherworldly feel. The repeated words “climax in death” are the last lyrics, adding a twisted vibe to the second track.

‘The Throne Of Transformation’ swiftly follows, transitioning nicely from its predecessor. In this song, in particular, H.K enunciates and stresses the words of the title in a fashion that grabs your attention. Lines such as “…my method is the alchemy of flesh” and “…transformation of man into abomination” allude to magick and mutilation, contributing to the strangeness the instrumentation provides.

‘Interlude II’ features effects that sound like a blade being rhythmically sharpened in its last thirty seconds, which is the most interesting part of track four.

Interludes II and III feel a little repetitious and could have done with either being slightly shorter or having some of the dynamism demonstrated in ‘Interlude I’. Three separate interludes on an eight-track album seems a bit much here. It would have been interesting to hear a few more tracks with vocals and instrumental intros. All three interludes also share their title with tracks from Ensnared’s first release, 2017’s Dysangelum. Perhaps they could have had other names to differentiate from the debut album.

‘Disciples Of The Whip’ is one of the strongest numbers on this release, so it really withstands being sandwiched between the two wordless interludes. It’s not long before a barrage of blast beats and death growls can be heard, H.K and J.K are on top form here. ’Disciples …’ finishes up with the sound of agonized screaming, which follows through as an echo into the first few seconds of ‘Interlude III’.

The lyrics in ’Karthasis Through Terror’ seem to be more heavily centered around the afterlife and conjuration (“Let the sensation of presence remain” and later “Let the revelation of darkness commence”) than prior tracks that describe death and decay in more detail. Around the 2:40 mark, there is an almighty roaring scream that conveys a lot of raw emotion.

About half of ’Black Hole Accolytes’ is an instrumental that uses the same melody as ‘Interlude I,’ the first and last songs mirroring each other to great effect. Some atmospheric ringing can be heard in the final minute, almost like a muted gong announcing the end of the record. Although clocking in at nearly 10 minutes long, there’s enough going on in the closing track to keep you engaged.

Ensnared reach beyond the usual disgustingly violent realms of death metal, entwining it with occultism to create an unsettling yet captivating vibe. Inimicus Generis Humani is a solid effort from the Swedish band, its ‘old’ sound refreshingly unique.

Review by Kira Levine

 

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