Enchant - The Great Divide

Enchant The Great Divide cover
Enchant
The Great Divide
Inside Out Music
2014
7.5
After literally ages, prog favorites Enchant return. During their long hiatus the band did release a live album and various members partook in various projects, as well as started families. Most visible was probably vocalist Ted Leonard who did succeed Neal Morse in Spock’s Beard, did lend his vocals in Thought Chamber’s two spectacular efforts, (“Psycherion” was last year’s best album here in Grande Rock) and Affector among others things like playing with Transatlantic (the superstar project), but he was not the sole member that kept himself busy as drummer Sean Flanegan has played with Cynthesis and keyboardist Bill Jenkins was also involved with Thought Chamber.
 
The album keeps a lot of the Enchant trademarks quite intact, you can instantly tell it’s them, but with the long “pause” between albums, there’s definitely a bit of a slight chasm between this and “Tug of War”… obviously, one of the most defining components, Ted Leonard’s characteristic vocals are still there and they seem unaffected by the passage of time. There’s also a slightly more mature, filtered sense, in parts, but that’s not to say, that the album doesn’t have some parts that don’t rock out a little more, it’s just not as heavy as in the past, as the keyboards seem to be more dominant than the guitars, but overall, it’s all balanced and done in a way that wouldn’t make a longtime fan feel disappointed. One cannot help but to draw some comparisons to Spock’s Beard which might sound very unjust, but on the other hand are reasonable to make, since Leonard now shares vocal duties in both bands.
 
Without being Enchant’s best effort, it’s quite great to see them make a most welcome return. They are a band that has the rare gift to be able to take the simple chorus/verse structure and just so skillfully apply their musicianship over it, which they end up sounding complex, with their virtuosic instrumental parts interwoven in-between, but not sounding like show-off moments, but integral parts of the song. They don’t have to use simplistic melodies to captivate the listener, just because their overall output is so melodious that in never allows the listener’s interest level to drop, really. And they are able to maintain a good balance in their material, something that a lot of other, even famous bands in the genre, seem unable to do... tracks like the smooth but at the same time exciting title track, the very emotive “Within an Inch”, the prog cornucopia of “Circles”, the typical, but at the same time atypical “Transparent Man” that even seemingly simple, seems to always reveal something new, every time you listen to it, or the lyrical “Deserve to Feel” all are worthy additions to the bands catalog of songs. Even the all instrumental, “Prognosticator” that pretty much justifies its name that’s marked as a bonus track, is pretty damn good!
 
The album comes in some beautiful elaborate packaging and there’s even a second CD as a bonus, featuring a 10 song “best of” – an introduction to Enchant I suppose, to familiarize, first time buyers etc. with the band’s back-catalog. Not an entirely bad idea I suppose. Well, welcome back, then Enchant. Enchanted to have you back.