On their Facebook page, Enceladus defines themselves as the 'new wave of metal.' That's quite an ambitious statement for this San Antonio based band. On the strength of an EP, Time in a Dream, the band has gained some recognition among fans, notably in Japan, and metal critics alike. With Journey to Enlightenment, the band offers nearly an hour of their power speed metal.
Whether Enceladus and this album are some 'new wave' of metal is hyperbole at best, doubtful at the very least. Their hyper-speed guitar driven power metal is being done elsewhere, and for at least a decade. This album should be called Journey to Becoming a Dragonforce Clone from America. The only difference is that Enceladus does it without twin guitars and a keyboard player.
Otherwise, the arrangements are fast, maybe a slight step down from Dragonforce and, ultimately, the platform for guitarist Geo Roessler's frantic and fiery guitar solos that mimic everything from neo-classical references to Li and Totman chiptune guitar gonzo leads. Soikkam is an adequate singer, able to keep pace with the music, but somewhat lackluster. Judas' bass is something that you have to concentrate with effort to catch since it's basically buried by the riffage. Frankly, the formula is rather repetitive and offers little variation, even the solos begin to sound the same. There's a slight bright spot at the beginning of Book of Pure Evil, the hidden bonus track (I guess it's not all that hidden if you can hear it), which has some Middle Eastern guitar intro.
Essentially, if you like speed metal and a huge load of ripping guitar solos (and Roessler is a sound guitarist), you'll like this album. But mostly, Enceladus doesn't bring anything new to the table. They should probably look to the depth of Dragonforce's arrangements on their latest album, Maximum Overload for future inspiration. However, if they do so, they'll like face a dilemma once more: mimic or create original material.
Essentially, with Enceladus and Journey to Enlightenment, if you like speed metal and a huge load of ripping guitar solos, you'll like this album. But mostly, Enceladus doesn't bring anything new to the table.
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