To start, I’m not exactly a huge fan of Prog-Power metal. However, I’ve found a very soft spot for Enceladus for one simple reason: their take on the genre’s hybrid isn’t as overly cheesy as most other bands. “Arrival” is a perfect example of how Enceladus shows a bit less of a theatrical performance.
Many of the songs have spectacular, catchy riffs to go along with the verses that vocalist Soikkam provides. While he still has a voice for power metal, he’s also able to actually sing with his voice with strong amount of control and a variety of range, which makes the smokey tone of his voice less of a factor. He doesn’t just stay in one octave for his vocals which is very typical of power metal so it’s nice to hear a wide variety of vocal points. Sure, some of the choruses are a bit too similar with a few songs, but they’re still more enjoyable than most power metal choruses so I’d be more than happy to hear it overused for two or three songs on one album compared to sounding similar to an entire genre.
Geo Roessler’s guitar work is pretty solid here. He definitely has some strokes of brilliance in their many solos, particularly in “Distant Land”, surely one of the highlights of “Arrival.” “Blueprint” has an incredibly addictive opening that’s very different from the rest. Along with this, comes the verse and bridge riffs from “Clockwork” and “Universal Century” which are incredibly groovy in a sense that they can really get you into the songs with their back and forth, up and down gallop-y feel. All the more reason for the songs to get stuck in your head after a few listens.
For the most part, I think this album is great. The riffs, solos, and vocals are great, and make for an enjoyable and easy listen from start to finish. In the end I’d say this is a pretty original album given its genre. Well done, boys!
The album is available from Bandcamp.