EHNAHRE - The Man Closing Up

Ehnahre - The Man Closing Up

5 tracks
44:28 minutes
***** ***
Sound Devastation

Bandpage

With most band members having been in an early incarnation of US East Coast avant metal band Kayo Dot, it is no surprise that Ehnahre deliver something which is not easy to digest on their debut album. Consisting of a three quarter hour epic, subdivided into five separate parts, The Man Closing Up offers a quite different outlook on doom death metal. Ehnahre must have set out to perform thinking man’s music, as they are heavily inspired by Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone technique, using everything from serial composition to atonalism.

I am not too familiar with the origins of that music, but it makes sense on The Man Closing Up, where plodding sludge doom parts alternate with furious death metal outburst, but leaving essentially room for improvisational parts that can take up to ten minutes, as on the quarter hour long Part IV, which ends in an egregious grindcore eruption. The band is aided by their former Kayo Dot colleagues Greg Massi on guitars and Forbes Graham on trumpet. Former Only Living Witness vocalist Jonah Jenkins guests on Part II.

Although the instrumentation consists for the most part of drums, bass and guitars, we get three of the latter, which makes for quite an intricate, interwoven sound. Additional keyboards, percussion, double-bass and trumpets add sonic coloration. Lyrically, the band has been using poems by the late Donald Justice.

Traditional death and doom metal fans will have a really hard time with The Man Closing Up, as this quite long work only rarely ventures into the more common extreme metal areas. Their kinship to Kayo Dot is maybe not obvious at first glance, but both bands share the same avant-garde approach to composition, even if Ehnahre prefer heavy guitars and a metal attitude. The Man Closing Up is essentially an ideal recommendation for discoverers of real innovative extreme music and those who like contemporary sludge / drone / doom bands like Sunn O))) and Nadja.

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