Review Summary: “I’ve harboured a stranger, a perfect abomination, a haunting manifestation of a self deceit and called him me”. Most people are never going to define themselves in this life and so will never get to live their true lives.
Released – September 2015
Wael Ossama (Guitars/Vocals)
Ahmed Hossam (Guitars)
Mohammed El Farra (Bass)
Mostafa El Tarapeshy (Drums)
Sherif Elias (Keys)
Rasha Magdy (Vocals)
The 21st century came with the boom of the female fronted metal bands. Inspired by the works of The Gathering, Theater of Tragedy, Orphanage, among others, thousands of bands with a chick on the mic all of a sudden assaulted the metal scene. Enraged is a Symphonic Metal band formed in 2005. They hail from Egypt. They made their début with an EP titled Jeremiad, in 2014. The EP is the best Symphonic Metal, with a touch of doom and female/male vocal duets, I’ve seen come out of Africa. It’s a unique idea that a band that has been lumped in the same genre boundaries as Nightwish and Tristania could even so much as think of recording an EP and even go ahead to release a single from their proposed EP based on such complex concepts, but fortunately for Enraged, they make it work. They make it work incredibly well. Somehow, this new fashion were either benefitting or destructive for the band, even though they took advantage of the current conjecture to achieve some popularity, most of the press and metal fans never truly understood their true personality, most of the times labeling them as the African Nightwish or Tristania clone. In a genre that is dominated by lush, soulful feminine vocals and fabulous yet predictably orchestral and orchestral sounds, Enraged now seem to be setting a standard musically and conceptually.
Mirrors is the first single off their proposed EP Jahr, and opens up with doomy guitar riffs that sets the standard for the EP. Not long after the vocals come in with Magdy and Ossama dueting. The song has a very well paced flow to it and even has a breakdown in the opening. It is definitely a good example of a female doom metal band. It has a melodic tune to it that shortly bursts into some catchy riffs and leads into Magdy and her haunting vocals. The song has a lot more female vocal dominance than male, which is uncommon with this band. The song is very dynamic, and reminds me a bit of more recent Katatonia only with female vocals. The song begins with heavy, atmospheric riffage, ambiance, and very generic drum lines. The track even has some vicious growls from Ossama that reminds me a lot of Arch Enemy. Madgy comes in giving the track an even flow of grace. The riffage in the chorus of the songs are very unique and have an interesting feel to them, almost mystical. Though, not the most dynamic song, it contains some good moments that is worth noting. The song then jumps into an upbeat yet still dark riff and keeps a very lively feel throughout.
Unfortunately, looking back at the band’s previous EP, it’s clear that Mirrors is arguably their safest effort. Being a single and the one that features the least amount of harsh vocals and extreme metal influences, you’d be hard-pressed to agree with others that this was anything short of a stunning work. Fear not however, because Mirrors does indeed have its excellent moments. This song here is genuinely well thought out by Wael Ossama and his equally as inventive musical partner, Rasha Magdy. The lyrics of this single are not an instant highlight, it failed to interest me musically. Naturally, those who depend on any of the standard Symphonic Metal albums to satiate their musical tastes will undoubtedly love this one, but those who have listened to what Enraged did on their earlier EP, would appreciate this much better. The choruses are instantly memorable, and Magdy’s vocal style is decent, as always. However, what about the instruments themselves? The guitars and bass work are impressive, but the drums never really impressed me, and so act as just sounds. They are overshadowed by the grandiose usage of violins, cellos, and any other piece of orchestral music Enraged decided to include on here. It’s a weakness that some can overlook, but one that definitely shouldn’t be the first single of the proposed EP that proclaims itself “Symphonic Metal,” and instead would be more fitting had it been adapted to a theatrical soundtrack.
All in all, a fan of Enraged will almost certainly adore this release, it takes everything that made Enraged a good band and improves it, if only slightly. However any who had doubts about the band before will certainly not be converted by Mirrors, as it is still a very standard Enraged romp that does little to change the group’s direction.
— Great production (on the release).
— Great vocals and musicianship.
— Why couldn’t Enraged stick with what they did on Jeremiad lyrically?
— Poor Drumming
All in all, a strong single from the proposed EP.