Monday 20 November 2017

Opium Eater - ENNUI (Album Review)

Release date: October 12th 2017. Label: Art as Catharsis Records. Format: CD/DD

Ennui - Tracklisting

1.Collapse 04:25
2.The Effect Of A Tragedy On Its Spectators 08:35
3.Babelsteps 09:09
4.Post-Tense 10:19
5.(The Not-I) 02:44
6.Worry Is At The Door 07:29
7.Ennui 11:25


Jesse Hill (Bass, Vocals)
Craig Leahy (Guitar, Vocals)
Sam Leamy (Guitar, Vocals)
Matt Hill (Drums)


Opium Eater's debut album Ennui is one I've been struggling to review recently. As the album is very diverse and includes a wide range of different musical genres. My initial thoughts were that the album is quite complex and too clever for its own good at times. Within time I've come to admire Opium Eater's creativity and diverse range of sounds of the album. Drawing influence from bands such as Elder, Mastodon, Baroness, Russian Circles and Neurosis, this album does actually feel influenced by those amazing bands.

However Opium Eater create their own unique sounds on songs such as: Collapse, The Effect Of A Tragedy On It's Spectators, Babelsteps, Post-Tense and the brilliantly heavy title track Ennui.

Opening track Collapse is a post-rock/post-metal introduction to Opium Eater that I feel would work better as a closing track than an opening track. Still it gives you a brief glimpse on what to expect on the more mellower parts of the album.

Second track - The Effect Of A Tragedy On It's Spectators does take time for the band to find their purpose and let rip with a heavy Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal riff. The vocals are mighty impressive as one of the bands 3 vocalists opts for a hardcore/post-metal sound. The song whilst staying mostly melodic does contain heavy violent outbursts of post-hardcore/sludge metal aggression. The progressive rock/metal style fusion of the music allows the band to explore many different elements of music. Psych Rock. Post-Rock and even Alternative Rock. The clean vocals can feel out of place at times but you soon become accustomed to Opium Eater's way of delivering their music.

The rest of the album follows the same path as this track though Opium Eater does throw a few curve balls along the way. As they experiment with their sound at different parts of the album. They could be playing a straight forward Post-Rock/Stoner Rock riff before changing direction altogether and playing something more primal. The album maybe challenging and too complex at times but you can never call it boring. As Opium Eater really do create a truly rich sound of their own.

The lyrics are another highlight with Opium Eater writing highly intelligent lyrics that matches superbly well with the complex melodies. Ennui may have taken a long time for myself to truly appreciate and to respect the band for doing something different with the standard Progressive Sludge/Post-Metal sound.

This is an album that you need to take your time with and it becomes a much more rewarding and emotional experience because of this.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe