(Andy Synn reviews the debut album by South Carolina’s Enthean.)
Before we begin, I’d like to talk a little bit about Emperor, if I may?
Following the band’s dissolution in 2001 the two main songwriters behind the Norwegian legends — Vegard Sverre Tveita, a.k.a. Ihsahn, and Tomas Thormodsæter Haugen, a.k.a. Samoth – both embarked on new musical endeavours of their own, with Ihsahn pursuing his more progressive leanings under his own moniker, while Samoth elected to follow a more deathly path, first with the mechanoid menace of Zyklon and then, more recently, with the thrashier strains of The Wretched End (whose new album I’ll also be reviewing very soon).
Despite being repeatedly questioned about it, both men have long been adamant that a full Emperor reunion, one which would result in a new album (as opposed to the occasional live show), just isn’t in the cards, largely because they’ve both moved on – personally and musically – and simply aren’t in the same place to collaborate in that way anymore.
Why am I saying all this? It’s because South Carolina Black/Death dilettantes Enthean sound, in places at least, almost exactly how I’d imagine an Emperor reunion would… both for better and for worse.