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Enchant - The Great Divide CD (album) cover

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Enchant

 

Heavy Prog

3.49 | 112 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SteveG
3 stars Less would have certainly been more.

As an American, Enchant is a prog group that I would really like to appreciate. But alas, it's been hard.

The last album I really liked by them was Wounded that was released in the late 90's.

So, fast forward to today. After a ten year hiatus, the band reforms with vocalist Ted Leonard and produce The Great Divide. Perhaps the word overproduce would be more apt. While I know that Enchant has changed their sound since the 90's, I'm also aware that they never wore their influences on their sleeves like their friends from Spock's Beard. And where SP could be considered a guilty pleasure due to their many references to other prog groups and even AOR stalwarts, Enchant was always seriously progressive. Fine. I have no problem with that except when I feel that Enchant goes out of their way to remind us, as they do on this album.

Frankly, the Great Divide is not an easy listen. Leonard is still in great voice, but you had better love it because you will be in for a lot of it. I wonder how he could stand up to the excess verbiage of The Great Divide's songs on tour. There is an over abundance of Ted's verse and choruses in these songs, even if they are just repeated.

The accompanying music is grandly prog with rapid time changes and an over abundance of keyboards that seem to fill every nook and cranny in the soundscape. Even Ott's excellent guitar solo in Within An Inch is sung over by Leonard with annoying call and response type vocals. The response vocals being slightly treated by a slight vocoder type echo effect.

This type of production strangles what should have been an excellent outing by this band as can be gleaned from the album's most straight up song All Mixed Up. It has a great stomping beat, great guitar hooks and solos that are not obscured. Leonard is still singing his heart out but his brief breaks, in order to come up for air, add space for the music.

The songs on The Great Divide are good songs with some decent lyrics. It's a shame the band did not employ an outside producer to help par down the overproduction, cut out a lot of Leonard's redundant verses and choruses, and let the album really shine. 3 stars.

SteveG | 3/5 |

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