Written by Valkyrjiaa
Enemy of Reality – Where Truth May Lie
> Symphonic metal
> Athens, Greece
> Releasing February 24
After the successful release of 2016’s Arakhne, Enemy of Reality unveils yet another concept album, this time titled Where Truth May Lie. This album’s concept is based on the fictional tale of a priest in ancient Greece trying desperately to uncover the mysteries of the traumatic incidents that shattered his life. The tale unfolds in a mystifying journey of music, dance, wine, and pleasures led by the mythical satyrs (forest creatures from Greek myth) who claim this is where the truth lies. Using an eclectic mix of traditional string instruments, and the ancient Greek aulos to achieve their desired sound, Enemy of Reality not only seek to achieve an immersive sound but, an experience that stays with you for a lifetime.
“The Final Prayer” begins with enigmatic chants and echos of pain. It’s atmospheric with fire, wind, and fear building tension and mood before piano keys chime to your doom. The music builds, like a fated introduction to some war-torn city, and we feel the setting of this album’s story begin with unrelenting passion and imagination.
“Downfall” drops in from the curtain rise, with the drums slowly building their progression to a mesmerizing riff. The symphonic sound commences with Illiana Tsakiraki‘s soprano vocals taking hold. Her voice emphasizes the crash and burn of this track, with her siren-like sound cascading from mountain top to Tartarus, fully engulfing listeners in the tale before them. It’s got catchy lines and a melodic sound that truly grasps your attention, definitely making you fall for the intrigue and prologue to follow along.
To continue, “At the Edge of Madness” carries onward with elusive instrumentals and playful musings. A cacophony of melded sound creates a picturesque world of lush green, and white flora all bathed in the scent of honey and wine. It’s a long table in the center of a meadow, with beasts of pleasure and pain seated about, tasting of wine and cheese, laughing and glancing with mysterious intention. The perfectly sculpted images that this melody creates is unavoidable, having me trail through the pathway of spring flowers, entranced by the mysteries before me and throwing caution to the wind as I, too, search for answers.
“The Vineyard Song” takes the illusion and intrigue that built in the previous track and drop it into madness. It picks up on heaviness with rapid drums and eerie harmony, building the scene of tragedy. It reflects on the pain and anger facing our protagonist, with an absolutely stunning vocal performance. Capitalizing on feelings of grief and confusion, this track is exquisitely detailed. It reveals such an emotional journey that’s delivered with intricacy and focus. I truly felt every ounce of energy this track expelled, from the pain to the beyond, and it was explosive to say the least.
“Serenade of Death” begins with eerie chants, eluding to a darkened state of body and mind. Illiana‘s vocal performance on this track steps above passion, reaching varying levels of range to depict this tale with awe. It’s filled with terror and malice, an epitome of rage flooding the melody of this captivating track so deeply it’s overwhelming. The subtleties on this track from backing instruments to chants amplifies the darkness that this song truly casts from its soundscape. It’s a tragic recount of defiance to the true Gods, and the punishment resulting from such flaunting acts.
“Now mere, tale of woe, spell casting words have sealed his breath. I mourn a serenade of death…“
To follow this epic path is “Ever-lusting” which denotes a heavier mood to continue the strife. With the demonic growls crawling across our flesh like satin-white bone, it’s deeply moving, despite the shivers of fear it creates across your back. The coating of raveled instrumentals, from cool piano keys to pausing chimes, are as infectious in their small notes as the unnerving feelings of desire and discovery searching ever deeper. With an unsatisfied hunger that muses towards guilt, such indecisiveness is silenced by the fever of passion and desire.
“Tears of Echo” cranks up the energy, moving from the more symphonic to one of metal cinematography. A tale of woe turned vengeful in its crossroads. It gets a solid metal melody going in the depths of its string works, mounted by despair in a carefully articulated orchestration. It captures shadow, regret, misunderstanding and perseverance in rapid succession. Tears of anger fall so freely, executed like the solo on this track that beautifully expresses the tangibility of befallen tragedy.
Tracks like “Long-forgotten” and “Deliverance”follow up with the same fiery essence of smoke and ash that “Final Prayer’s” introduction held, motioning towards the wicked and distraught with both malice and grace. Each are a brilliant display of Enemy of Reality‘s musical range, both instrumentally, and technically, by making full use of the instruments in their arsenal, and the vocal prowess at their front.
In that same feeling, “Goat-legged Deceiver” reminded me initially of System of a Down‘s “Aerials” until its climax takes off and the album’s story is once again reflected upon. It is the truth that had so masterfully been orchestrated by the forest and its patrons, finally revealing its deception in a blast of deep bass, and jaw-dropping guitar work that gave me chills.
The final track, “Baptized in Fire” brings in the thunder of drums as if to foretell our doom. It doesn’t mask the weight of our story’s end, embracing it with oil in one hand, and lit parchment in the other. “All my life has been in vain” perfectly captures the mood of this track as the viciousness continues in a mix of harsh vocals and endless double kicks. Heart-racing, atmospheric tension peaked: this track takes the rise and fall throughout this album and brings it to a fiery close. The expressive vocals, bound to the musical divinity, are fully executed in a concept composition that could not end in a more dramatic fashion.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This album is about the journey, not the end. Each track carefully encapsulates a moment, a vision, an emotion, that is painstakingly placed to complete this tale musically and narratively. From beginning to end you are fully immersed in Enemy of Reality‘s vision; you are molded by it, drained by it, and consumed by it. Feeling as if this fate is more your own than any other’s, you are not only captured by the lyrical tension but how it’s musically articulated as well. Fans of such carefully crafted tales, such as those done by bands like Xandria, Visions of Atlantis, and Epica will allow themselves to be swallowed by Enemy of Reality‘s vision and enjoy every bit of discovering Where Truth May Lie.