Gifts From Enola- A Healthy Fear (2012)

Posted: January 4, 2013 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: , ,


I’ll start with the obvious stuff: this is not what I want as a Gifts From Enola album. A Healthy Fear doesn’t have the same vibe to it that I get from Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind or From Fathoms. This is definitely a progression from the sound they established on their self titled EP, which was more like the former two than anything this has to offer. I’m not saying A Healthy Fear is complete garbage, but anyone who’s listened to Animal Collective knows that albums can be good on their own, yet disappointing as compared to previous works.

All right, now that that’s over, it’s time for the fun. Gifts From Enola has always been one of my favorite post-rock bands. As a proud merch/album owner, I fully support the band in whatever direction they decide to take it. The direction they decided to take it in with A Healthy Fear was one that sounds like And So I Watch You From Afar (especially Gangs) with Rosette-esque vocals. Not that that’s constant throughout, but that’s the main sound I’m hearing. And for those saying, “Oh, there goes Ben hating on vocals in post-rock again”, “Dime & Suture” was my favorite track off their last album, so there. The beginning of “Robespierre” has that exact feeling and then brings the sound of “In The Company of Others” from their first record, and thus I’m in love until the vocals come in. There’s going to be a pattern with that, I promise you. The problem is that the vocals become the main focus of the song, the problem so many bands have. In “Dime & Suture”, the balance was perfect: they were in the background and acted like beautifully-worded instruments. And seriously, don’t even get me started on the beginning of “Cherry”. That’s sums up my argument.

The good: they’re just as heavy as ever. When they return to their original sound, they’re unstoppable, fusing atmospheric soundscapes with crunching riffs. In addition, the instrumentals in “Honne/Tatemae” took my breath away. I’m just happy their ability to play what they used to play hasn’t been lost, regardless of the singing. That and “Jade” had some good parts.

Rating: I just wasn’t feeling it. I love them, don’t get me wrong. I would pay insane amounts of money to see them live, but A Healthy Fear just wasn’t cutting it for me. I’m not going to give this a good rating just because everyone else loved it. The songs just seemed too unoriginal. 2/5 kegs.



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