If a title ever fitted an album and its lead protagonist then it is The Enchantress. The debut album from UK hailing symphonic rock outfit Coburg, the release is a riveting cauldron of adventure fuelled sound and melodic seduction; a fascination of imagination with a bite in its jaws and theatre in its flirtatious trespass.
Coburg is the creation of and led by singer songwriter/guitarist/actress/model Anastasia Coburg, an artist who has previously gripped attention through previous guise Jet Noir and as part of Naked Lunch. The London based band is completed by synth player Dean Baker and bassist Mark Spencer both of Galahad and Twelfth Night, rhythm guitarist Sarah Sanford, and drummer Pietro Coburg. Musically, Coburg embraces the gothic rock tones of Jet Noir into its grander and bolder symphonic rock soundscapes; a blending which simultaneously feels intimate and worldly around the emotively woven heart and expressively delivered lyrics of each individual adventure.
Straight away The Enchantress beguiles ears and thoughts, a tempting which only escalates track by track for a seriously potent lure starting from the first breaths of opener A Cold Day In Hell. As soon as the resonating touch of bass and keys fingers the senses the song, which was born in Anastasia’s Jet Noir exploits, has submission in its grasp. Swiftly, you can hear the growth and maturity which has blossomed in the song since its first impressive days a couple of years back, a new sense of drama and intensity fuelling stalking riffs and rhythms as Anastasia’s striking tones step forward. Erupting throughout with melodic flames, the song continues to prowl as that drama intensifies note by note. Apocalyptic in air, darkly romancing in character, the song is immense and unafraid to twist through unpredictable discord lined detours.
Its Middle Eastern spices are even richer within the following and equally exceptional Echoes In The Night. They emerge from the initial shadows of the song, dark corners and provocative ecclesiastical chants enticing as they are soon in union with the wiry tendrils of guitar. With Blancmange like qualities, those cosmopolitan essences dance seductively on the ear, keys and guitar weaving an entrancing beckon before the grittier tones of Anastasia walk the eager stroll. Her lead guitar prowess teases around and alongside too while rhythms share their excitable shuffle in a proposal which has the body as lustfully involved as the imagination.
Dark essences are never far from a Coburg song and coat the senses straight away as The Hall Of Ghosts steps forward next; its fiery and lively balladry a lithe saunter draped in flavourings hinting on the likes of Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Vajra. Its melodies have a childlike innocence but encased in a dark tide of further melodic suggestion and raw power. With bewitching harmonies sealing the deal, the great track is matched in success by the tenebrous atmosphere of Into The Darkness. Gothic rock again flows openly through the symphonic nurtured tapestry of sound, bringing a noir lit intrigue and in turn virulent infectiousness to infest ear and imagination. As with every track, each listen reveals a new twist and layer, the song evolving and growing from its stirring introduction into another major moment within The Enchantress.
Each song also feels like an individual tale and fresh chapter in the album’s journey, Requiem no different as it romances ears next. Though not quite having the sparks of those before it, the track is a heated flame of melodic and lyrical invention which captivates with creative ease before the album’s title track spins its own crepuscular web woven with the fingering enterprise of synths and guitar around smouldering but direct vocals. With electro and progressive rock invention joining its drama, the song is an increasingly compelling proposition, an essence which applies to all songs to be honest as proven by next up Thy Dagger. Its union of intimidating scythes of guitar and electronic revelry instantly grabs full attention, a focus rewarded with vocal and melodic dexterity as the track blossoms note by note into a magnetic slice of cultured rock ‘n’ roll
A haunting realm of suggestion and sound brings Till The Bitter End into view, its shadowed melodic lighting and veiled threats encapsulating the intimate yet broad depths of song and words. Personal tastes did not take to the track as easily as with its companions within The Enchantress but instantly it nurtured a want to go deeper whilst embracing the siren like harmonies and undisguised imagination bringing it to life.
The album is completed by firstly Warrior’s Blood, a song with steel in its skeleton and rousing invention in its evolving character. There are moments which mix the bite of Otep with the melodic fire of Within Temptation but just flavoursome strains in the individual emprise of song and Coburg before Rise closes things with its inflamed hope graced ballad. As if further proof was needed, the song is an emotive declaration of Anastasia’s quality as a singer and songwriter as well as the band’s craft and individual imagination.
Song by song The Enchantress captivates and stirs, growing as mentioned with every listen into something even more impressive whilst announcing Coburg a striking addition to the European symphonic rock scene.
The Enchantress is released October 24th via Evolve Or Die Records and available @ https://coburg.bandcamp.com/album/the-enchantress
Pete RingMaster 24/10/2017
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