“Drift off to catch glimpses of an other world… Entheogen, a musical group which expresses esoteric hunches into progressive, chaotic yet soothing waveform constructs, injects their expressive pieces into the auditory spectrum that breezes over Ghent’s treetops.”
A Progressive Metal quartet hailing from Gent, Entheogen have been crafting their sound since 2017 when some chemistry-laden jam sessions between Laurens De Cock (guitar and vocals), Keyvan Valamanesh (guitar and hair) and Anton Hellemans (bass) gave them ideas to peruse. It took them a little while, but in 2019 they found drummer and percussionist Chey Mahieuin 2019 and were able to commit to tape. Winning the Moshroom Rockrally 2019 (Moshroomfest Sint-Eloois Winkel) and performing at venues like the Kinky Star and Asgaard, in Kortrijk at Den Deugniet have been career high points so far…
…mixed and mastered by Matthijs Quaars (Spoil Engine, Exhuminate) of Quaars Productions their debut release is an independent one that could be considered something of a concept release. “Entering The Other World” is an icy syth piece that chimes gently threatening with an eerie haunting tone to become something else which doesn’t materialize. Instead a vibrant solo lights up “Fade In” as one song switches to the other seamlessly with style and grace; the music a leaf floating gently on the breeze with enough momentum to carry it before the most unexpected left turn; Laurens De Cock brings throat shredding Black Metal vocals akin to the black plagues emanating from the mouth of a banshee. The first vocal wave is an instantly sickening head turning moment in contrast to the gentle tensions of the building Progressive Metal music, the last thing you’d expect and yet captivating at the same time, like watching a horror film holding onto a cushion with white knuckles and unable to look away from the screen. The chilling tones of “Disintegration” swirl as they nauseate before a burst of Death Metal once again rises from the depths to strike, before fading elegantly into a progressive lead guitar part as if Fallujah had formed a supergroup with Gojira.
Whispered vocal parts litter the songs like rogue thoughts in the mind of someone lost in a haunted house, just audiable enough to hear and chilling to the bone. Part of the magic is the way in which everything here is intertwined and “Disintegration” is conjoined to “Of Remembrance” which features the synths of Jolijn De Cock, the two sounding very much as one developed idea, the latter a blood hound running through the woods on a dark night with an insatiable blood lust. If it was heard in isolation you might thing this band a Melodic Death Metal one, but they have so much more to offer that their path forward is almost unimaginable, there are more plot twists here that the finest thriller. Flipping the script and turning everything on its head “Mountainous Wave” brings glorious beauty in elongated tapping sections of sublime melody akin to something inspired by Mestis or even Intervals, Progressive to the point where you wouldn’t suspect it was the same band if the track was played in isolation before the previous one. That is testament to how good the musicianship is here, the dedication to their craft is obvious. There is no compromise here, no desire to split the two clearly defined stylings within the band and that is what makes it beautiful [8/10]