Reviewed: December 2002
Released: 2002, Insideout
My first experience with Enchant was the last CD, JUGGLING NINE OR DROPPING TEN, which I enjoyed very much. I like this on even better. ENCHANT reminds me of 90’s Rush from PRESTO through TEST FOR ECHO, which in my books is very high praise.
The similarities start almost immediately on the opening cut “Under Fire” (No, not the Heaven’s Gate tune!) The quick pace that suddenly drops into acoustic interplay is very dynamic and interesting, reminded me off “The Pass”. Another attractive listening feature is the fact that this album has an immediacy to it, more specifically it jumps right into songs, recognizable songs where structure are not sacrificed for technicality. The members are obviously technically proficient but they know when to show restraint in songwriting, and performing. Why use 20 ideas where one or two strong ideas work just as well? The result is fairly catchy songs but certainly more complex than a traditional verse, chorus verse structure.
Vocalist, Ted Lenoard is good but not amazing, his voice is maybe a little bland…not too rough, not too high, not too low, just there, hard to describe in it’s mediocrity. That is not to say he is a bad singer but I would like to hear him stretch his lungs and see what he’s kinda pipes he has. Keyboards are used generally sparingly and effectively as Doug Ott doubles as guitarist and keyboarder as well. The guitar tone is warm and clear, not much grit or power but very inviting or dare I say it, non-offensive?
The packaging is very traditionally prog, namely lots of odd images that you know mean something but can’t quite figure out like the flying cubes with the girl…weird but strangely compelling! The booklet is attractive, and has lyrics, credits and so forth. The disc is not very long under an hour and has nine tunes, most of them around the six-minute mark, which makes the songs require attention but not a mandatory half an hour headphone session just to figure what is going on. This is certainly more accessible, for people who like intelligent, complex and well-designed songs but don’t have the patience to wallow through a two-hour concept CD.
Enchant is the band I play for my mainstream rock friends who maybe dig Rush or Floyd but aren’t ready to tackle Dream Theater yet. Enchant could be called the gateway band into prog! Good songs by a good band, a winning formula. I am most certainly going to go and acquire the back catalogue, which is supposedly heavier. I can’t wait!
No Videos Available