Review: Enemy of Reality – Arakhne

614017Written by Rainer Kerber

Enemy of Reality was founded in 2013 after longtime singer of Meden Agan, Iliana Tsakiraki, left the band to realize her own musical dreams. Forming Enemy of Reality, the band was quickly signed by Belgian independent label F.Y.B. Records. They then released their debut album, Rejected Gods, one year later, which was followed by appearances at MFVF XII (Belgium), Dames Of Darkness 2015 (UK) and other shows and festival appearances.

Two years later, the successor has now been published. Arakhne is an ambitious concept album in that it is based on the Greek mythology of the spider creatures, as well as other mythological elements of ancient Greece. Through the album the story of Arakhne is told – she was a skilled weaver, who ran afoul of the gods and was transformed into a spider

The bombastic orchestral intro ‘Martyr’ goes seamlessly into the first song ‘Reflected.’ Driving drums and a punchy guitar riff determine the song. Later comes the soprano vocals by Tsakiraki, who sings beside guest vocalist Fabio Lione. (Angra, ex- Rhapsody of Fire) This duet is the perfect addition to the song, as is the filigree guitar solo toward the end.

More melodic and rhythmic than the first track is ‘Weakness Lies Within.’ Tsakiraki shows a great deal of comfort in middle pitches giving this song strong airplay quality.

‘Time Immemorial’ starts with e-piano sounds, but a little later the double bass starts. Various melody and rhythm changes give the song a proggious impact. The soprano of Tsakiraki is contracted by growls,  which the bassist, Thanos, contributes.

“Nouthetisis” starts with disturbing parlando of Iliana. Then orchestral passages apply and the double bass drives relentlessly forward. Musically, this is probably the most bulky song of the album. Towards the end is a great guitar solo by Jeff Waters (Annihilator).

‘Afraid No More’ is a somewhat catchy song with bombastic orchestral passages, pounding guitar riffs and powerful drums form the musical foundation for Iliana’s opera singing.

‘Showdown’ features another duet, this time we are greeted to opera soprano, Chiara Malvestiti. (Therion, Crysalys) is an opera soprano. While very much a metal tune, this duet is in the style of a great Italian opera.

‘The Taste of Defeat’ is a bit quieter and more rhythmic at the start, but soon enough the fast guitar and percussion passages provide for metallic hardness.

As with the rest of the album, the speedy guitar of Steelianos Amirides dominates, especially on ‘In Hiding.’ This style fits the fast vocals of Iliana and propelling double bass very well.

“I Spare You” is a melodic song, the second quite airplay-capable of the album, but is nonetheless a bouncer.

The final track is ‘A Gift of Curse’ and it shines through with melody. The double bass is used expertly once more as the band closes out the album. One of the standout features is one final ingenious guitar solo.

The 2014 debut Rejected Gods was already outstanding, but with Arakhne Enemy of Reality took another great step forward. Although it is a conceptual album, they did not try to subordinate the song writing to the concept. In addition to proggy songs, there are also many catchy melodies and plenty of atmosphere. Least to say, Enemy of Reality has blessed us with a truly great symphonic metal album. 9/10

 

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