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by Yusuf Laher / 18.09.2009

Twelve tracks, including interludes, every one dedicated to a different serial killer. Conceptually, it’s serious stuff. From Bulgarian Dimitar Bochukov’s chilling, case sensitive album art, to the macabre content and polished sounding production. Still, I can’t believe that’s how you spell Enmity (pronounced Em-ni-tee). The English language is weird sometimes. Then again, so is Enmity – the band.

Mixing ultra shredding big riffers like “Protest the Hero”, the calmer, drama student sounds of “Nightwish” and a less manic take on “Iwrestledabearonce”, with Alainite Martheze’s diverse, out-patient screams and a tightly spun web of samples, loops and keyboards, Murderabilia’s an impressive debut full length. It sounds like guitarists Ross and Francois have cooked up more riffs per song than most bands bother writing for an entire album. Murderabilia’s literally jam packed with riffs, eerie samples, keys and a surprising amount of melody.

After a tone setting, 1:24 introduction of digital loops, laughter and serial killer stabs, “She Picked Wild Flowers” kicks things off pretty schizo. It’s “avante garde metal,” with jazzy sounding keys, unpredictable screams and smoother female vocals. Track three, “That’s Not What I Did, But Damn You’re Getting Close,” is my favourite. The riffs are great, especially towards the end.

I didn’t get into the slower songs as much. I prefer the more erratic ones, like “That’s Not What I Did…,” “A Fairly Normal Family,” “Gross Mr. Meaner,” “Airtight Alibi” and “ABC Max.” “Gross Mr. Meaner” even includes bassist Jay’s dog Baxter on guest barks, right before Alainite shows off his vocal range again, switching from deep doom and gloom to high pitched, wallpaper pealing paint strippers.

Mixed and mastered by Dean Bailey (The Horrorcast), the production’s watertight. But sometimes, the drums, especially some of the mad tom rolls, sound a little too “triggered.” Interestingly, Alainite played all the drums on the album and they were recorded at bassist Jay’s home studio.

Enmity’s skinny jeans and hair sponsor, androgynous suburban metal vibe won’t appeal to sceneophobic sceptics hungry for more brutal biker tunes to raise a fist to, but Murderabilia’s an impressive slab of progressive, dead romance rock nevertheless. A lot of effort has gone into this one, from the concept and song names, to the album art, production and packaging. And it’s a strong platform for Enmity to build on.

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