Like a series of dark fairy tales, Enchiridion of Nightmares the new album from dark rockers Sharone and The Wind captivates, seduces, and haunts. Each of its notes, let alone songs, comes with a shadow to their beauty, melancholy to their light, and intimacy to their grandeur with it all colluding in an adventure which just steals the imagination from everyday reality.
Hailing from Denver and emerging from the solo project of vocalist/songwriter Sharone (Borick), Sharone and The Wind is one of those propositions impossible to ignore or forget however their similarly striking songs appeal to personal tastes. Enchiridion of Nightmares is the successor to their well-received 2017 album Storm but sees an almost completely new line-up alongside Sharone. It was an emotionally traumatic time for the songwriter; the departure of her band inspiration within the new album fuelled by the emotions she became embroiled in; Sharone admitting “Writing this album was therapeutic to say the least. Before I began writing, I had just gone through one of the most difficult changes of my life and I felt more alone than ever. I felt angry, scared, and hurt, and I took everything I could from the experience as a lesson that allowed me to grow as a person as well as a songwriter.”
There is a rich cinematic and theatre-esque feel to Enchiridion of Nightmares which equally adds to its captivation; indeed its songs entwine an influence of horror movies, vintage and modern, into their personal nightmares. With just as richly layered and dramatic sounds to its exploration, the album is a persistent unveiling of new twists and shadows listen by listen. On our first meeting intrigue soaked the pleasure, through a couple more captivation, each subsequent listen leading to the inescapable bewitchment these words spring from.
The album’s piano nurtured atmospherically chilling Intro sets the tone alongside Sharone’s painting of words; its poetic scene setting the portal into the dark charms and cold breath of the following Graveyard. Once more the piano of Michelle Bailey captures ears and imagination as richly as the powerful and imposingly graceful tones of Sharone, both aligned to the infectious rhythmic manipulation of bassist Zach Barerra and drummer Anthony Hester. With sonic flames from the strings of guitarist Alex Goldsmith adding to the captivation, the outstanding track immerses the listener in dark magnetic theatre where whether calm and seductive or aroused and burning the senses, it engulfs the senses and imagination.
It is a rich success repeated across the release the following Haunted House instantly transporting ears and thoughts into its foreboding setting, anticipation looking through its piano built windows to find the melodic and infectious weaving of the band dancing to the song’s rhythmic swing. Again fluid passages of energy and emotional intensity flow through ears, the band’s multi-flavoured rock simultaneously gothic, symphonic, and melodic woven into another entrapment of creative suggestion and emotional release.
The initially punchier presence of Demons lures the listener into even darker depths and self-exploration, to places we have all felt in degrees. It is an intimate proposal with broad arms, an invasive entrapment of seduction and agitation brought with real craft and creative animation before managing to still be eclipsed by the gorgeous Music Box. An innocence lined melody caresses ears first with unsurprisingly intimation lining its charm before piano and guitar set their individual threads to the song’s vocal and musical reflection.
Elegant smoulders and fiery flames arouse the haunting might of Mirror Ghost next, emotive intensity and melodic drama soaking successor Zombie, both songs creatively and emotionally enveloping body and mind masterfully while Fire twists and bursts like its namesake within its dark carousel of temptation and seduction. The track is like a mercurial lover, coaxing and seducing before igniting in primal intensity and quite superb as it provides the inimitable pinnacle of Enchiridion of Nightmares.
Throughout the album the whole band simply impresses, spinning a web of dark fantasy and close to home intimation with the dexterous fingers of Bailey and the vocal prowess and majesty of Sharone steering the creative emprise, the power ballad Cursed another basking in the songwriting imagination and the quintet’s invention.
The final pair of Exorcist and Death of a Clown brings their own cabaret of invention; the first, featuring guest vocals by Hannah Maddox, an instinctively catchy yet thickly dramatic maze of shadow woven enterprise and macabre kissed seduction, its successor a melancholy spun serenade with beguiles as it haunts. Both leave ears captivated and the imagination engrossed and as the album just getting further under the skin by the play.
A unique tapestry of varied shadow bred rock, Enchiridion of Nightmares is a one of a kind adventure and tempting awash with emotional turbulence turned into cathartic beauty as compelling as it is magnificent.
Enchiridion of Nightmares is released via Syndicol Music on April 13th, pre-ordering now available @
Pete RingMaster 11/04/2018
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