Bulgarian Metal, that’s a new one. Some of the Eastern European countries spew out Metal at an extreme extent while others are more or less silent. Poland is a great example of countries with a well respected Metal scene, Ukraine as well. The smear on both countries Metal scenes is that they have been accused for harbouring an unreasonable high account of bands with Nazi sympathies. I haven’t invested much time on listening to any of the so called Nazi bands but I have to admit that I like some of them. NOKTURNAL MORTUM and HATE FOREST for example, two great Ukrainian Black Metal bands, unfortunately with the wrong political stance. I couldn’t care less if a band praises Hitler or Stalin. Two fuck heads, equally bad. Or what about Mao, a real nasty one too, though from what I’ve read it seems like he was more encouraged by his own greed and megalomanian character than by political ambitions.
Time to talk a bit about the band I guess. ENTHRALLMENT may come from Bulgaria but they sound very much like a US Death Metal band from the early 90’s, think “Eaten Back To Life” and “Butchered At Birth”. If you happen to like those two albums I find it strange if you don’t find “Smashed Brain Collection” appealing. It sounds a wee bit more professional than CANNIBAL CORPSE did in their early days and the sound quality is a bit better as well, but the core of it all is pretty much the same. Guttural Death Metal with lyrics you should be able to picture just from reading the album title. I like the album title by the way. Hey everybody! Do anyone of you want to come to my place and look at my exquisite smashed brain collection. Certainly a bit spicier than your average stamp collection.
So how is the quality? Good, nothing more nothing less. I certainly don’t have any problems recommending it to a Death Metal fan with a taste for the old school way of doing things. ENTHRALLMENT uses blast beats and such but it’s heart and devotion rather than wizardly playing skills that makes “Smashed Brain Collection” into a good one. I’m not saying that they are slack asses - they are competent enough to perform the music the play without sounding like a pack of clowns – but as we all know there are some fanatically skilled people out there. The “easy” part of music appears to be learning an instrument, as there are far more skilled musicians than song writers. ENTHRALLMENT is in the league of good song writers. They know their Death Metal and don’t fuck with the formula. I like bands who fuck with the formula but I appreciate that there are some bands that don’t.
The sound quality on “Smashed Brain Collection” is good, though a little awkward, especially the kick drums sound strange. Fortunately it doesn’t flaw the end product. The drums are played with profession and in the end the sound isn’t bad, just strange. If you are too like the vocals you better be acquainted with guttural growls beforehand. You’d be hard pressed to get every word from only listening to the songs, without the help of a booklet you are pretty much lost. Then again, we all what kind of topics this band liked to sing about from reading the album title, “Smashed Brain Collection” doesn’t leave much for the fantasy. I think it’s safe to say that ENTHRALLMENT is a non political act.
I have no problems recommending this album to all the gore hungry Death Metal fans out there. There are many good riffs on this album but I feel like I’ve heard them a few times before. In other words there is nought, zero, zip originality on “Smashed Brain Collection” but that doesn’t mean the music can not be enjoyed. If you like splatter movies ENTHRALLMENT are your friends. Enjoy.
(Online November 22, 2006)