Review of "Blink Of An Eye" by New Horizons
Enchant continue their reign of brilliance with this, their sixth album - their first without drummer Paul Craddick. Some fans, myself included, may have been a little worried about the departure of Craddick who also contributed in no small way to the band's songwriting. However, new drum man Sean Flanegan is a more than able replacement, while guitarist Doug Ott and singer Ted Leonard have penned another superb set of songs.
'Blink' is perhaps a little heavier than the band's previous 'Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10' album, but is still very much in the same vein. Bass player Ed Platt is now fully back on board providing his highly musical bottom end on all but one track. On the keyboard front the band are still seeking a new player, but here the duties are shared by Ott and guest musician Phil Bennett who has appeared on previous Enchant albums.
The spectacular 'Under Fire' rocks out with Doug Ott's blazing guitars and Ted Leonard's soaring operatic voice with contrasting lush chorus. 'Monday', lyrically hits the nail on the head as Ted sings about the millions of us "9 to 5 wage slaves" trapped in unrewarding jobs - the chorus being particularly resonant.
Both 'Flatline' and 'Seeds Of Hate' are laden with irresistible hooks, and the latter features a superbly structured instrumental break.
'Ultimate Gift' gradually builds into a powerful ballad, whilst the slow burning 'Follow The Sun' features some gorgeous sustained lead guitar. 'My Everafter' has another soaring vocal performance from Ted, while 'Despicable' has a sort of metal reggae intro.
The limited edition digibook also features the bonus track, the instrumental 'Prognosis' which you really don't want to be without. The best comparison I can think of is Rush's 'YYZ', but twice as long and twice as urgent. Doug Ott's racing guitars riff away, augmented with bubbling synths and Ed Platt's funky bass. The speed and yet strong melodies of this tune are quite breathtaking and it features a humorous stop/start ending too...
This is another superb album from Enchant although, as I have hinted at earlier, it is rather similar to their last CD. There's no doubt that this new music is brimming over with imaginative ideas but I wonder if they should try a slight change in direction next time out.
Nevertheless this will be one of my favourite new releases of 2002 and I'm sure other fans of the group will love it too. If however Enchant have yet to grace your speakers, then you have a lot to look forward to. Ted Leonard has surely one of the greatest voices in rock music and together with Doug Ott's spectacular guitars it makes Enchant a world class band.