Coming out of France, the four musicians who make up the band Enki Thing spent three years collaborating with other respected artists to experiment and develop their distinct sound, before coming together on their first album. Along the way they put together over 30 singles showing the band’s musical prowess and versatility. The advantages of Enki Thing and their differences from other progressive bands are rather obvious.
The band never overdo solo parts, neither in the keyboards nor in the guitar department, even though its players are extremely gifted. More importantly, they are always bent on playing music. See, Enki Thing rarely go for long-winded atmospheric build-ups and eclectic sound effects, nor do they just fool around with their instruments endlessly.
No, Enki Thing is always intent on playing music, and playing it as well, as much and in as many different ways as possible. Their blend of progressive music is almost impossible to categorize. It lends a lot from the 70s and 80’s rock eras, but it also does not exclude catchy art-pop flavors in its melodies. In other words, Enki Thing are unique in their field. The question is: but are they good?
Technical skill and loads of complex arrangements do not necessarily make up an impressive record. Unless you add in the equation of ear-warming melodies, soaring vocals and awe-inspiring songwriting. All of which can be found on the four songs taken from their album “Divinity”. This record should be a treat for fans of progressive rock music that steps more than a little outside the genre norm, while retaining quality musicianship.
Progressive rock has always been a tough sell, even in its heyday, and most fans seem forced to wade through more than enough pretentious junk in an attempt to find some quality listening. With “Divinity” this doesn’t happen, at all. Right from the get-go with the opening track, “In the Starry Sky”, the songwriting is focused, the production crisp, and the performances rigorously tight.
“Secret Messages” takes the previous winning formula and adds a catchy melody to create an extremely accessible song. Crunchy guitars meet shimmering piano keys, rolling basslines and punctuating drums. On top, the vocals do another amazing job of underlining the song’s momentum and superb melody. The song combines the band’s progressive rock motives with their art-pop cleverness.
Enki Thing music is generously imbued with subtlety and depth and is filled with numerous memorable melodies. They never fail to impress, and when they turn up the intensity and pace on “Venus Huracan”, they truly shine. The song is fueled by pure and absolute performance passion through and through. While very melodic throughout, there is absolutely no tendency to abandon that intangible progressive singularity in the band’s sound.
“Special Day” opens with gorgeous pianos and clearly resonating vocals, before morphing into a funky up-tempo beat that continues to build and evolve. The song is filled with heart-searing melody, power, light, shade, counterpointed accents, and a never-ending desire to expand. It has, at the same time, nuance and power, clarity and depth, aggression and sensitivity.
Music is riddled with tremendously talented artists that quietly pass under the radar of popular culture and fade from the collective memory outside a small but devoted fan base. Hopefully that won’t happen to Enki Thing, as they seem to have plenty more to offer.