Improving upon perfection
Bellusira’s debut E.P. Empty Shells And Sleepless Nights was by far one of the most impressive Australian releases from last year, and one that still manages to get plenty of spins some twelve months after its initial release.
While having a chat to vocalist Crystal ‘Ignite’ Backman prior to the E.P.’s release, plans were already underway for a follow-up effort, which Backman promised would push the band’s sound further than anything hinted at on their debut. And as promised, the Melbourne based rock act’s latest effort Enigmatic is everything the band promised it would be, and a little more.
The opening track One Second provides a dark and heavy start to the album, with the band masterfully balancing quieter atmospheric sections with fairly aggressive passages of guitars (provided by Richard ‘Dicky D’ Dalbeth) and keyboards (courtesy of guest keyboardist Fetah Sabawi of Jericco). As expected, Backman puts in a powerful performance throughout, with her strong melodies and harmonies really giving the song its unique identity.
The follow-up track Rolling Tide is a firm favourite with its stunning infectious chorus, the echoed effect on Backman’s vocals and gentle build up of heaviness (again, Sabawi’s keyboards fills the empty spaces perfectly) at just the right moments, while the straight forward heaviness of Nobody simply rocks.
Interestingly enough, Bellusira revisit their more recent past with a re-recorded/reworked version of Take when the band was initially known as Fallacy. The song takes a completely different direction from its original form, but definitely fits within their current sound.
Finishing up the album is the energetic heavy rocker Change, which features a great guest duet performance from Mammal vocalist Ezekiel Ox alongside Backman.
Nearly every band will talk up their upcoming release, and mention just how much they’ve dared to push their own boundaries compared to their previous release. Bellusira are no different, except for the simple fact that they’ve actually managed to accomplish exactly what they said they would do.
Once again, the only real fault on Enigmatic is the fact that it’s a little on the short side of things. But given that every one of the five tracks are all killer sounding, it’s a problem I think the band are more than capable of rectifying next time they head into the studio.
Simply put, Enigmatic will go down in my books as one of best Australian E.P. releases this year.
(Third Eye Records)