ALBUM: Engraved Disillusion – Embers Of Existence

Release Date: June 11th, 2012
Label: Bored Stiff Records


Engraved Disillusion are a strange proposition. Born and bred in the tranquil, historic surroundings of Taunton, Somerset, these sluggers are out to bring the cold, melodic assault of Gothenburg metal to Britain’s shores. Steering clear of the growing post-hardcore and metal scenes, Engraved Disillusion are carving out a niche in the style of their Swedish influences.

‘Embers Of Existence’ has a tangible personality about it, helped along by atmospheric effects and sections which help to enhance the experience. There’s an interesting balancing act between crushing distortion and intricate melody that occasionally makes for genuinely interesting and memorable results. The band explode out of the blocks with opener ‘As Life Fades’, the double-pedal assault propelling the track in to a typical metal chorus, favouring speed and aggression over melody.

With Chris Pugsley‘s vocals leading the charge Engraved Disillusion‘s sound occasionally steers a little too close to the sounds of their influences, particularly death metal legends At The Gates. This is their first full release, so it’s forgivable for now to ape some of the characteristics of their heroes, but moving forward into future releases the band will have to find some distinctive traits of their own if they want to hold the attention of their fans.

‘Embers Of Existence’ is studded with moments of brilliance; the meandering solo section of ‘The Forgotten’, the expertly executed shifting pace of ‘Disengage’, the sludgy riffs of ‘Unhallowed Eyes’; these are all highlights. However, they are all marred by the unsatisfactory sound quality. As a DIY project funded by the band, there are times when the tracks fail to reach the crisp and precise level that the technical melodies and tight song writing deserves. The guitar parts in particular, stellar though they are, with Toby Steward and Marc Matthews putting in a valiant and impressive performance, feel floaty and dulled by a muddy sound. It isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but this factor detracts away from the virtuosic nature of the more melodic sections.

Their sound may not be popular, their influences outside of the knowledge of your average Brit-metalcore-bruiser, but the strong song writing and technical aspects that ‘Embers Of Existence’ offers to fans of the melodic metal scene will ensure that Engraved Disillusion‘s fan base grows upon this release.

This is a band with talent and ambition who are on their way to finding that killer sound. ‘Embers Of Existence’ may not always capture their potential, but it’s a worthy investment for anyone interested in the genre.

Written by Grant Bailey