- Break ( ©INSIDEOUT
Music '98 )
- One of my all-time favourite progressive bands! Break
is the band's third full-length album and is among the top five albums of the 1998/99.
Ever since their first album, Blueprint of the World, ENCHANT
has continued to stun the progressive rock scene with skilfully crafted and emotionally
performed music reaching the peak of excellence with their previous Wounded
album. Well, for the band, Break is a very natural step in a new
direction and the whole feel is far away from the haunting desperation and dark emotions
as so vividly portrayed on Wounded. The new album deals with a
wide range of subjects such as deceitfulness, solitude and drug addiction. The overall
tone is still somewhat pessimistic but with a glimpse of hope at the end of the tunnel.
Musically, ENCHANT has lost Ed Platt, the excellent bass player who left
for reasons unknown to me. Fans will surely notice this, as the sound is no longer
underlain by a heavy and virtuoso bass. All other guys are in top-notch shape, not to
worry. And the studio replacement for Ed is ok. To get to the point, the songs. Break,
the title song and the album opener is really weird. It is pure grunge, its furious beat
nicely fits Ted Leonard's charismatic voice. I do not understand why open otherwise a
perfect album with such a relatively "rock" song. It's not like it is a bad
song, no, quite the opposite, its melody is something that will stuck like a gum under the
table and the overall effect is that ENCHANT can rock! Already
with number two, King, there is only pure ENCHANT to the end.
Ted sings so beautifully, so very emotionally, so deeply. This man can cry you a song.
Doug Ott plays a really moving and haunting melody with guitar solo that is his trademark.
Mike Geimer backs up the entire peace with subtle keyboards and Paul Craddick handles the
drum sticks with the greatest of ease, as always. Then there is number three, Enemy.
Again there is this opening, haunting melody but soon the band warms up in a passionate
display of progressive skills. And then, Ted sings the chorus. This is it. This man is
pure voice! The beauty, the pure flow of almost tangible emotions. Wow! In the second
chorus the band takes over the lead part and blows everything away. Paul's hand work is
exceptional, Mike creates the atmosphere for Doug to perform his solo, and you know this
is for real. Yes, real music. Number four, Defenseless, gives you some time to
stop and take a breath. Nice little melody opens up space for the band to kick in. Doug
performs one of his really beautiful solos and though lyrically the song is not very
happy, the music creates such mood. The Lizard is number five and it is my
personal favourite. A very energetic song, with alternating dramatic passages. Ted easily
reflects the lyrical mood of deceitfulness, Mike finds keyboard sounds that are really
captivating and in chorus Paul, once again, shows his really exceptional hand work. I
mean, the high-hat! Every time I listen to this song I break down. It relates so much to
my own personal pain, it is almost scary. Brrr. Number six, Surrounded, is quite
hard rocking with this weird guitar chord and odd drum rhythm. Great sounding and
convincing of the qualities the band members have. Doug engineers yet another beautiful
solo on his six strings. Silence, number seven opens with a drum pattern changing
into already classic ENCHANT sound: glittering guitar chords, energetic
bass line, handy drum work and mood-creating keyboard sounds. This one also includes a
surprising bridge. Number eight, In the Dark, is the best song on the album. The
greatest semi-ballad I have heard in a long, long time. Ted sings perfectly, the verse is
just plain RUSH yet with more heart-felt emotions; keyboards and guitar
are in perfect unison. You have to hear this song, really. My Gavel Hand, number
nine is different from other songs. Its sombre mood evokes images of peace and
tranquillity, at peace with destiny. This time Ted is in perfect unison with Mike and this
makes the song really great-sounding. Doug offers his choice of fiery licks all turning
into a very emotional bridge that intensifies to the end. The last song, number ten, The
Cross is the most progressive of all. Odd guitar rhythm, odd drum rhythm, he he. The
band surely knows what it can do and it is doing this in the best possible manner.
- The top. The cream of the crop. Hats off. It can't get better than
this. ENCHANT is surely the best progressive rock band of the nineties
continuing the legacy of legendary KANSAS and not selling out like so many, many ( too
many! ) other bands. Break is among the five best albums of
1998/99. Get this one. Get it now!
- Thanx to INSIDEOUT Music for keeping the band signed. Thanx!
- Coming soon...review of XEN and 84.000