Encenathrakh – Encenathrakh (2015)

Extremity is a term that has lost its meaning in the metal scene long ago, to the point where the most “extreme” acts are now by way of popular opinion mostly consisting of the knuckledragging mutants that churn out indistinguishable slam records with interchangeable logos and covers.

While the brazen, tactless charm of those records hints at what may be an element of the id driving the metal spirit, it is clearly revealed as a misguided and improper interpretation of the force behind the metal ideology when the listener is forced to weigh the presentation of the records as a whole while being inundated with the juvenile concepts therein. Most extreme bands reveal their human tendencies immediately and in the process close the door on what could be a journey towards a foreign experience unsullied by the follies of man, and not only do they limit their vision thusly but revel in the inanity in the process.

While “modern brutal death metal” may have succeeded in delivering the falsehood of a human extreme, there still are groups not only searching for a new expression that blurs the lines of what kind of story can be told within the death metal aesthetic, but one that strains the definition of music itself — presenting an extreme that delineates an uncharted experience and at the same time stridently exposing the narrow visions puked forth on most modern death metal releases.

Encenathrakh are such a band, and achieve their vision through a Pollockesque canvas splattering filtered through the death metal aesthetic. This isn’t achieved via the zany paths apparent in similar acts as Orthrealm, but more the barrage you would hear in a marriage of Noism and demos-era Portal, with a nod to the spasms of Naked City. Narrative structure is completely abandoned here, and only after a few listens does it not come across as a random, improvisational mess barely held together by rhythmic battery. While modern metal has been exposed for narrative weakness for decades now, contemporary bands have faltered while pursuing the art of structure, yet Encenathrakh wears their compositional defiance as a badge as the unbridled mess spews forth in a somehow confident deluge.

As with extreme metal, the wallpaper effect is definitely an immediate result, yet in a different way; the dynamic inversion here somehow distorts the perceived elements outside of the listening experience into a dull, colorless mass as the record ebbs and tides. What aids Encenathrakh in their pursuits is the very organic production of the release: drums are not triggered, beats are not quantized, guitars are not overly compressed. The record lives and breathes as tempos wildly fluctuate and the left and right stereo signals harmonize despite playing seemingly different songs simultaneously, still somehow landing together with the ever shifting tempos. This is not a record with standout tracks (song titles are single “word” syllabic jumbles recalling the anagram in the Nespithe booklet) let alone concrete melodies, yet random sounds that bubble up to the surface will stick with the listener as palate cleansers to the otherwise complete aural hellscape.

After repeated listens I am not convinced that Encenathrakh was a good experience, yet somehow through the unabashed lack of substance the band has provided a more substantial release than much of what I have heard under the death metal umbrella in recent times. The experience both makes the listener yearn for the essence of “song” while at the same time question why so many artists are trapped by its underpinnings. The extremity of the record lies less in the data of the music and more in the confrontation it forces the listener to endure when presented with it, and although experienced metal fans are still eulogizing the demise of coherent songwriting in extreme music, Encenathrakh celebrates it with an aural headstone marking where narrative structure now rests.

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24 thoughts on “Encenathrakh – Encenathrakh (2015)”

  1. cornrose says:

    Interesting piece. Thanks

  2. HH says:

    another terrible Colin Marston project

    1. S.C. says:

      Shit that’s all that needed to be said…

  3. Sounds like Molested on bath salts. Where’s the riffs?

    1. Tek Defecation says:

      We don`t need no riffs where were going.

      1. Astronaut Bread says:

        Black Angus?

  4. GGALLIN1776 says:

    Speaking of Jackson Pollock, Grim Quim’s tranny panties.

  5. Marc Defranco says:

    I think this is boring just like Krallice.

  6. Seth says:

    And this esoteric midden of composting TBDM tropes can be yours for only $701.26!

  7. Let's only talk about Blasphemy says:



  8. I post here irregularly, but always forget my name. says:

    We are all better off with Last Days of Humanity’s “Putrefaction in Progress”. This is just someone’s art school interpretation of brutal death and goregrind.

  9. old DLA > nü-DMU says:

    Uhhh… this sucks. No riffs = next-gen hyper evolved metal? Welcome to the “new” world of “metal”! This is where this band, Ara, Gorguts, Human Remains, and every single Colin Marston project ever fails – “unconventional form”, or just harder to fabricate, but still no content. Empty noise.

    You can call this whatever you want, but it sounds like a group of deathcore kids (the vocals say it all) heard some goregrind song on youtube and decided to make “the most brutal death metal ever” in the most obvious and useless way imaginable. This is a disgrace and whoever thought promoting this was a good idea should be ashamed.

    “This band does things this way! Different is better, right? Might be ok, I guess… I dunno. Ooooohhh! Swipe at narrative structure! Take that ANUS! In closing just gonna sit on the fence with this one” is not a good analysis or recommendation.

    1. cornrose says:

      All this is truth. These people don’t get the spirit of metal therefore their music is just empty.

    2. Jerry Hauppa says:

      If you like your extreme music nice and safe that’s fair, but this band is attempting a truly underground approach, and successful or not, it deserves coverage because of it. It needs to be appreciated the way a harsh noise record would be, and since that is not my forte I can only analyze it, not condemn or praise. I am one who looks for the narrative approach in metal, but I can also acknowledge when others can attempt a completely different path and still achieve an adjacent conclusion.

      1. Marc Defranco says:

        This band is nice and safe to me. I know people only into deathcore that would listen to shit like this. If you want to compare a metal band to harsh noise then maybe Nyogthaeblisz and other similar bands, not this overly technical junk.

      2. Marc Defranco says:

        Also nothing against you, the article is well written. I just don’t think this band or any related bands deserve attention.

      3. Rainer Weikusat says:

        If you like your extreme music nice and safe that’s fair, but this band is attempting a truly underground approach, and successful or not, it deserves coverage because of it. It needs to be appreciated the way a harsh noise record would be

        »Truly underground« is a state (amateur/ unsigned band), not a style. And this (the first track at least) is repetitive, simple-structured and uninteresting even for so-called ‘brutal death metal’.

        1. Jerry Hauppa says:

          There is nothing in the track that is repetitive aside from the tonality. Where are you hearing a simple structure when nothing repeats? Also there is nothing here remotely related to deathcore, vocals included (which are most similar to Disgorge (US)) but if you need to draw conclusions based on kneejerk reactions to assert that this is outside what you consider to be the lines of actual metal, that isn’t quite fair. This isn’t even something I particularly found to be good, but I put my prejudices aside to analyze it for what it is trying to do, which is to remove all human connectivity through the music, which is not safe at all and not in the same universe as deathcore (which relies on human trappings). The concept of “underground” absolutely can relate to surface and style, when what you are presented with is completely alienating. If the gripes are that the human elements of hook, riff and structure are deliberately ignored, you can’t really lump this in with a pop ideology. Like I said, this may not be good, but it operates on its own wavelength and should be discussed as such.

          1. Jerry Hauppa says:

            Rainer I can see what you are saying by the concept of “underground” after debating it mentally, and I may have utilized the wrong terminology to express the approach, but to me an overtly alienating presentation is something that yearns to stay underground if human connection is not the goal.

          2. Rainer Weikusat says:

            I’ll try to explain this but I’ll have to try making up for my lack of terminology knowledge by inventing terms. Idea I originally got from a Ludvig Boysen text (although he himself didn’t seem to realize what he had written): A sequence of chords played for different amounts of time makes up a rhythm of sound changes. Further, such changes also have direction as they’ll either go from lower to higher or from higher to lower notes. This track has a repeating rythmic pattern and direction of movement of this kind: It’s roughly a spiralling movement upwards ending at some ‘high point’ in a similay way every time and then moving down again, usually employing a few chugs/ palm-muted chords at the lower end. Most of the time, the drum beat tempo also slavishly follows the chord change rhythm of the guitar. This gives this track an air of a finger exercise — stuff someone plays on a guitar in order to practice finger movements.

  10. Rainer Weikusat says:

    “Getretner Quark wird breit, nicht stark”.

    That’s 05:33 spent with spiralling upwards, followed by spiralling downwards again, and the only thing this makes me yearn for is for the the musicians having at least two ideas if they insist on long songs like that or alternatively, someone stoning them to death with grindcore albums.

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:

      “Getretner Quark wird breit, nicht stark”.

      As there’s apparently no good, English translation of this nice (Goethe) quote: It could be

      Energetically threshing curd cheese doesn’t separate grain from chaff, it just spreads out.

      1. Astronaut Bread says:

        Getting grain from cheese would be a feat indeed.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          That’s the point behind the quote (in German, Quark also has a connotation of “nonsense whose nonsencicalness is particularly obvious”): No amount industry applied to unsuitable material will improve the quality of that. The end-result will be unsuitable material looking as if a lot of industry had been applied to it.

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