Germany’s modern metallers Enemy Inside fronted by Nastassja Giulia are back with their sophomore record! Inspired by the concept of seven deadly sins with a present-day twist directed at modern society, the band dropped their second LP “Seven” on August 28.
From the first second, you know what’s about to be delivered with this album: high energy, powerful vocals and catchy melodies. It is, indeed, a strong start; the catchy chorus of an upbeat opener “Crystallize” is already one of the most prominent moments of the record, and we’re not even 5 minutes in. The tone gets a little darker as the first notes of “Alien” hit. The song is an anthem of “outsiders” with a stadium-like chorus and its deep, fighting message and dark breakdown in the second half. I can almost hear the audience singing loud and proud along with Nastassja during live shows.
We continue in the same vibe: heavy, intense riffing of “Release Me” in combination with melodic thorough vocal lines is a powerful combination. The band showcases a perfect balance between heavy and pop music elements; heavy riffing, exquisite guitar solo, energetic drumming, smartly used electronic elements and mesmerizing pop vocal lines.
For a moment, the band slows down with “Break Through”. But don’t let yourself be fooled! What seems like a touching piano ballad with some nice strings supporting Nastassja’s emotional, soft singing at first turns into a diverse track with electronic beats and erupts into a proper rock piece when the full band joins at last. Moreover, the lead guitarist Evan K adds a sick solo as a cherry on the top. It needs to be pointed out that there’s a number of guitar solos on “Seven”, and I highly appreciate all of them because each makes sense and isn’t present just to show off Evan’s guitar skills. Some bands should take notes!
“In My Blood” is a decent mid-tempo song with a strong chorus. At least at first, it appears rather harmless, but it brings in a surprising headbanging moment as it nears the end, which really lifts the spirit of the song in my eyes and gives it some extra points. Nastassja is a goddess of powerful choruses, and this concerns the lyrical aspect, as well. If you ever need heads up or to kick in, just listen to one of the songs on “Seven”, for example, the “Bulletproof”. I guarantee you will be ready to lead an army after this one.
The title track is dark, tempting, with a bit of screams from Nastassja (more of these in the future, please!), creating a truly intense and dramatic atmosphere. Well done! Keeping up the dramatic level high, “Black Butterfly” is a bittersweet song in a slower tempo. You can feel the pain and hurt but also the strength all the suffering brought. Especially the layered vocals towards the end hit home and close the song in an epic way.
The five-piece decides to keep it low for a little longer with “Black And Gold”, which alternates between acoustic and heavier parts, just to kick it up with “Dynamite”. The song attracts the attention with a playful moment around the second minute, where a perfect vocal game of creepy kids-like singing takes the spotlight. The album offers a cover of Jennifer Paige’s “Crush” to finish up. It is indeed an interesting choice that all in all fits the album’s concept well. If you haven’t heard the original earlier, you wouldn’t even notice there’s something unusual about it. And that’s how you make a cover; you make it your own!
Besides remarkable guitar work, “Seven” represents exceptionally strong material in terms of vocals, which are exquisite, well-thought and precise throughout the entire record. Nastassja showcases her softer side, as well as how strong her voice can get, and these guys are smart enough to use her exceptional vocal abilities to their full advantage. It’s clear that, among others, she takes inspiration also from pop divas, but in her own and outstanding way that accentuates the heavy instrumentation of her bandmates.
Merging metal with pop music is nothing new anymore, and Enemy Inside turn this crossover in such a manner that makes me smile, which was already proved by their 2018 debut album “Phoenix”. It doesn’t feel like listening to a heavy metal band with a pop singer and some electro elements tossed in here and there. This band knows how to throw into the mix all of the mentioned elements and make them sound like one unit that wouldn’t be complete without any of its tiny components. It’s simply a win-win situation when you also know how to write hit after hit. This is modern metal at its finest!
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Label: Rock Of Angels
03. Release Me
04. Break Through
05. In My Blood
08. Black Butterfly
09. Black And Gold
11. Crush (Jennifer Paige cover)