Begun in 2006, Enbound is the project of drummer/producer Mike Cameron Force (Zonata, Poem, Axenstar, Draconian etal). He rounded out the band with bass player Swede , young guitar virtuoso Marvin Flowberg, and the phenomenal vocalist Lee Hunter (nee Lars Safsund), famous for his work with Work of Art. The result of this collaboration is Enbound's first release And She Says Gold (great title).
Explaining the history and personnel of Enbound is quite easy, getting a handle on their musical style not so much. And She Says Gold is a rich blend of melodic hard rock and metal within an AOR wrapper. Combined the Souls, Squeals of War, and Under a Spell, by example, can fall into the more metal category, even a touch towards power metal. Some songs blur the styles like Untitled X and Me and Desire which offer heavier melodic rock angled against segues of subtlety and smoothness. Then, songs such as I Am Lost to You, Running Free, and the marvelous Love Has Come are arena ready melodic hard rock giants. Also, in the midst of this, there are ballads. Broken Heart is pure melodic rock ballad sans the rock; it seems entirely out of place on the record. Frozen to Be is an AOR ballad with talented singer and Eurovision participant LaGaylia Frazier. As eclectic as this sounds, it all fits: this is first class melodic hard rock.
To the musicianship and composition, both are superb. Lee Hunter soars, Flowberg thrills, and the Force/Swede rhythm section delivers steady foundation. Production is nearly immaculate: crisp and inviting. Bjorn Engelmann (Rammstein, Primal Fear, Sonata Arctica) mastered the album.
If there are negatives here, they are perhaps two. First, though a terrific song, Shifting Gears has some weird vocals, a near failed experimentation with dirty vocals. The second is the bonus track, the cover of Michael Jackson's Beat It. While the song is considered a classic that changed the face of pop, rock, and MoTown, I still can't understand why anybody wants to honor a man of questionable character, even in death.
Nevertheless, Enbound's And She Says Gold is pure melodic hard rock magic: fully intriguing and entertaining. Strongly recommended.
Enbound's And She Says Gold is pure melodic hard rock magic: fully intriguing and entertaining. Strongly recommended.
With a cursory scan of the Internet, even before their first album is released, some are calling Phantasma a symphonic supergroup. There's good reason for some such speculation. Phantasma features the collaboration of founders ... [ Read More ]