Review by racerguy February 16, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
|It's different. It's unusual. It certainly won't appeal to everyone.
Take choruses singing in Latin, a man with an incredibly deep voice singing Occult lyrics in German (with emphasis on the gutterals and rolled r's), add lots of synthesizers and a techno beat, and you have E Nomine.
The lyrics aren't devil-worship, although they sound pretty ominous. The songs describe the classic story of Armageddon and the struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness (Licht und Dunkelheit). Each songtrack is preceded by a recitation. This isn't techno dance music per se - the music tracks are different enough from each other to keep it fairly interesting assuming the listener is receptive to the techno genre to begin with.
Most techno music puts substantial demands on an audio system's ability to reproduce low frequencies, and this disc takes it a step further - it plumbs the depths of house-shaking, nearly subsonic frequencies. If you don't have subwoofers or mains capable of getting down into the bottom octave, you'll miss out on much of the impact of this music.
The quality of sound leaves a lot to be desired, though. I'm quite sure the source material was PCM, not DSD or analog. The recording has the hallmarks of the typical somewhat dry PCM sound (if you've heard this characteristic, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about). The source appears to have been hi-rez - the soundstage is huge and detailed, but unlike DSD or analog source material, it's rather flat, lacking depth.
It appears that the main reason this release ended up on SACD was so the record company could sell an audio-only multi-channel disc. Further supporting my PCM-source theory is the also-available DVD-V, with their music videos (PAL-encoded). There isn't much sonic difference between the full-bit-rate DTS multi-channel soundtrack on the DVD-V and the multi-channel layer of the SACD.
I listened to all three layers of the disc - CD, stereo SACD, and MC SACD. The SACD layers are definitely higher-rez than the CD layer. I find most multi-channel mixes to be a bit gimmicky, so I'm probably not the right person to comment. Like most pop/rock/electronica MC mixes, the soundfield is thrown everywhere. Heavy use is made of the center channel.
My conclusion is: this is an interesting release if you like this genre, and can make for a pretty impressive surround-sound demo for your more "hip" friends. It does not really showcase the full abilities of SACD though.
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