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SOUL ENEMA

Eclectic Prog • Israel


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Soul Enema biography
SOUL ENEMA are an Israeli band formed in summer of 2001. The band is a project based around its brainchild, Constantin GLANTZ. He also plays keyboards in the band, as well as doing some vocal duties, and taking care of sound effects. The rest of the crew is Irene SHERR (vocalist), Max MANN (on bass), Yevgeny KUSHNIR (on electric and acoustic guitars) and the drummer's Oleg SZUMSKY.

The band is blending rock and various heavy metal/progressiv metal forms with bursts of perky noises, some brass sections, mandolin, and various folkish fragments from Hebrew culture. There's also possible to trace psychedelic fragments, jazz fusion, noise, even flamenco.

In April 2010 the band released their debut via MALS record, named 'Thin Ice Crawling'. Highly recommend if you like female-fronted, intelligent and elaborate music with plenty of middle-eastern influences and heavy rifs. A surprise galore.


Moris Mateljan, 2010.
Sources:
www.myspace.com/soulenema
soulenema.bandcamp.com

Soul Enema official website

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Thin Ice CrawlingThin Ice Crawling
Mals Limited
Audio CD$23.79

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SOUL ENEMA discography


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SOUL ENEMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 71 ratings
Thin Ice Crawling
2010
4.18 | 40 ratings
Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
2017

SOUL ENEMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOUL ENEMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SOUL ENEMA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOUL ENEMA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Omon Ra
2013

SOUL ENEMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Of Clans and Clones and Clowns by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.18 | 40 ratings

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Although founded all the way back in 2001, the humorously named Israeli band SOUL ENEMA has only released a mere two albums beginning with 2010's debut "Thin Ice Crawling" and at long last the follow up has emerged in 2017 in the form of OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS. Main man and founder Constantin Glantz readily admits he is the utmost perfectionist when it comes to creating his music and just like the debut, the listener is treated to an equally compelling eclectic musical ride with every element ratcheted up a few more notches. Glantz is the only common thread between the two albums and all other performers are completely new to the SOUL ENEMA scene. While the debut had five full time musicians and four guests, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS still has five core musicians but has a whopping eight guests including Arjen Lucassen of Aeryon fame providing a cameo guitar solo on "Eternal Child" and fellow Israeli Yossi Sassi providing the unique sounds of his bouzoukitara on "Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History." The album took a staggering seven years to make and and therefore leaves no "i" undotted and no "t" uncrossed. This is a project of passion, a labor of love and despite the trials and tribulations involved in the making, turned out to be another resounding success.

Due to all the attention paid to every little detail, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS comes off as a slick and serious project where every idea and composition is careful crafted and placed in the proper place as to create the perfect musical flow of ideas and energies. The emotional gamut runs from the apocalyptic "Aral Sea" three part suite to the silliness of the title "The Age Of Cosmic Baboon" and other moments of desipient amusement. Much attention is paid to the production as well and despite being rather complex and multi-layered, the album retains an organic spontaneous feel that surprisingly doesn't sound overproduced at all and contains no excess fluff added for fluff's sake. Right from the beginning track "Omon Ra," SOUL ENEMA displays the same eclectic fusion of several genres all stitched neatly into a nice musical collage of styles and sounds. The heavy metal guitar riffs overlap with other polyrhythms including Middle Eastern sounds and symphonic prog style keyboard assaults. The diversity of the tracks keeps the album interesting with Noa Gruman's vocals adding a more diverse range than her than her predecessor on the debut. Likewise there are many more elements lurking around every corner and at times even reminds of how The Beatles would layer contemporary rock over more traditional styles of music with one example of how "Spymania" takes its Vaudville tinged prog metal and allows a more traditional anachronistic musical form to emerge as the heavier parts fade out.

So many elements going on here it's impossible to describe them all. The common thread is that much attention is paid to catchy melodic hooks that take on crossover prog possibilities. The heaviness alternates between full-fledged progressive metal riffing to calmer melodic rock to simple piano runs. There are many ethnic influences as well with tracks like "The Age Of Cosmic Baboon" sounding completely exotic with Middle Eastern rhythms and percussion with the added mystic flair of the sitar. The mix of the rhythmic elements with the atmospheric is utterly fascinating as they seamlessly weave around each other in perfect unison. Heavy guitar parts can abruptly shift to a more symphonic prog segment with folk fueled flutes fluttering away as one melodic segment cedes into another. The pace is perfectly set for each part to connect to what has already occurred and what is yet to come. While most tracks have a metal or rock feel in nature, some like "Last Days Of Rome" bring good old-fashioned piano rock to mind with artists like Carole King coming to mind although with a zillion other elements tacked on in crossover prog fashion of course! "Dear Bollock (Was A Sensitive Man) is another exotic sounding track with Glantz showing off his Japanese shamisen playing skills and although there are metal riffs added for bombast, it comes across as a mad rush down the silk road of some sort.

Despite the parade of ideas floating around on any given track, the three part suite "Aral Sea" is perhaps the most progressive rock in feel with three long suites that feature a diverse rotisserie of moods and represent the ultimate demise of the famous sea that went from Garden Of Eden fertility to the dusty barren wasteland it is today due to human carelessness. The suite begins with "Aral Sea I - Feeding Hand" that tells the tale of the fertile life giving sea that demands respect in exchange for provisions with heavy rock guitars, melodic piano runs and Noa Gruman providing one of her most dramatic vocal deliveries. "Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History" picks up the pace a bit adding a bit more eclectic polyrhythms in a more Middle Eastern feel but quickly turns to sadness with dynamic electronic effects and heavy metal riffing suddenly simulate the once productive sea being siphoned of its life giving vitality. This second suite installment has a unique Far East vibe due to the presence of Yossi Sassi providing the unique sound of his bouzoukitara adding a truly exotic flair as the Middle Eastern meets metal riffs dance around one another. "Aral Sea III - Epilogue" has the expected ending of demise but performed with an interesting intro of discordant piano and percussion and ultimately sang out by Gruman's powerful vox box. This finale has Sergey Kalugin of the Russian prog rock band Orgia Prevednikov making a cameo on acoustic guitar.

Glantz is an excellent self-promoter as he describes this album as a creative diverse rock / metal album that explores vast melodic and rhythmic territories that takes elements ranging from ABBA to Zappa, from King Crimson to King Diamond between East and West and way beyond in a true progressive fashion. While those words are delivered in a slightly cheeky way, they actually ring true as well as Glantz is interested in making progressive prog instead of the factory line varieties. With more elements than the periodic table, SOUL ENEMA delivers an outstanding sophomoric epic journey that takes the best elements of prog, rock and the entire Putumayo World music catalogue and runs away with it! It truly is impressive and adventurous without ever getting weird for weird's sake. It remains completely accessible while dishing out unorthodox exaltation. While "Thin Ice Crawling" was a major step in achieving something great, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS actually fulfills that mission and one of the best albums of the year that i've heard so far. It is fearless as it shamelessly throws the sensual and the bombastic in a cage together and let them duke it out. The result is a not a musical death match but rather a triumph of sonic cooperation that demonstrates the possibilities of musical genre blending when proper care is taken to the details. Unlike the debut album, this one at over 72 minutes doesn't wear out its welcome by the the time the last tracks finally crank up. This album is quite the accomplishment. Bravo!

 Thin Ice Crawling by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Thin Ice Crawling
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars The peculiarly named SOUL ENEMA is the brainchild of the restless and productive spirit of the Russian born Constantin Glanz turned Israeli whose fascination with electric musical elements has made him a cu'ri'o'so in layering various elements together since the band's inception all the way back in 2001. Despite having formed at the turn of the millennium, here it is 2017 and Glanz has created a mere two albums with entirely different cast members. THIN ICE CRAWLING which finally emerged in 2010 is the debut that garnered international attention in the progressive rock / metal crowds for deftly packaging up ample doses of melodic rock that unfold in very experimental ways and in the process incorporate all kinds of genres and styles often leaving the listener in the dark about just how in the world to categorize this eclectic cauldron of simmering extravagance. In the days when carbon copy clones are creeping in with a quickening pace as progressive rock and metal burgeon in popularity, once in a while a rare musical creation comes along that effortlessly stands out from the crowd with a sound so distinct and original that it manages to sweep away all the competition in its ambitious and unpredictable sonic peregrination.

While melodic hard rock with outbursts of heavy distorted metal riffing are ubiquitous trademarks on THIN ICE CRAWLING with an emphasis on the catchiest yet quirky melodies possible, the other musical elements are a total grab bag as SOUL ENEMA crafts a clever path through which metal and rock mix and mingle with European folk, jazz-fusion, Middle Eastern, Oriental and other elements which gleefully play together like musical United Nations poster children that somehow flirted with the theatrical flirtatiousness of Broadway all the while juxtaposing elements in reckless manners that find doves of peace coinciding with weapons of mass destruction. At this stage SOUL ENEMA consisted of main man Constantin Glantz on keyboards, sound effects and male vocals, Max Mann on bass, Oleg Szumsky on drums and the feminine beauty of vocalist Irina Sherr whose mezzo-soprano presence adds a stabilizing effect to the beastly guitar riffs of Yevgeny Kushnir and jittery keyboard fluctuations of Glantz. In addition to the regular cast members are a few additional performers adding various ethnic percussion instruments alto sax. Although no credits are given i'm sure there are violins as well.

THIN ICE CRAWLING is a true delight to sit through from beginning to end (although an adventurous listen). Having taken several years to construct and perfect, this album delivers a string of infectious melodic developments all decorated with some of the most unorthodox twists and turns that while remaining totally logical in how they connect, never fail to surprise in how they are connected. In many ways THIN ICE CRAWLING comes off as an Aeryon type album with a perfectly balanced tightrope act of sensuality, bombast and Vaudeville type charm. At times one element may dominate, at times they alternate and at times they all play together seemingly on recess from the lessons learned from the school text books that have been ossified into the orthodox rulebook. Surprise and sense of adventure is what SOUL ENEMA playfully conjure up on this hour plus listening experience. In retrospect SOUL ENEMA makes me think of a less frenetic, more melodic and incredibly structured form of Unexpect as Irina Sherr's female vocals along when the violin led folk aspects dominate while the frenetic keyboards with the heavy guitars clearly bring Arjen Lucassen's many projects to mind.

As SOUL ENEMA emerges from their slumber seven long years later with their long-awaited followup "Of Clans And Clones And Clowns" which perfects many of the musical aspects laid down on this debut, THIN ICE CRAWLING is not to be missed as it is every bit as addictive as the followup and despite Glantz being the only connection between the two albums, there is a very cohesive feel between the two releases thus demonstrating Glantz' talents as a conductor who can eke out the potentials of his musical ensembles that he strings together quite well. As the main songwriter and arranger it shouldn't come as much of a surprise however making a large group of musicians perform so well is equivalent to herding cats in a string factory. THIN ICE CRAWLING is an utterly brilliant piece of work that dexterously agglutinates a ridiculous amounts of styles and influences ranging from the melodic hooks of ABBA to the prog workouts of King Crimson and Frank Zappa with enough classical and metal to expand the possibilities even further. My only complaint is perhaps there's too much of a good thing and a couple overlong tracks like "Unholy Ghost" and the lugubrious piano laden "Outro" (although i love the craziness after the silence) which fit in thematically don't hold my interest as much by the time i get to the end. Still though, this is a minor quibble and overall this debut album is impressive even if somewhat exhausting in one go!

 Of Clans and Clones and Clowns by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.18 | 40 ratings

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by Yurkspb2

4 stars A very strong album from the Israel prog group. It mixes a lot of different styles (progressive metal, folk, classic prog) and still has something unique. Lyrically the band covers many grounds, too: ecological disasters, craziness of today's world, some personal touch. It's evident that lyrics do matter here. It's good lyrics have a good doze of humor (otherwise things would be way too serious). Some may not like the female singing but for me it's completely OK. Noa Gruman has a very strong and versatile voice which she can adapt to almost all styles required - check videos on Youtube where she sings arias, blues and delivers metal growls. What is always important for me in music is how memorable it is. And here Soul Enema delivers again - after 2 listens I can recall almost all tunes (maybe except 3 pieces dedicated to Aral sea). The level of musicianship is top notch and still you never get the feeling they start showing off for virtuosity's sake. Highlights: Spymania, Cannibalismo Ltd, Octopus Song, Breaking the Waves. All in all, highly recommended. 4,5 stars. Surely of of the best releases of 2017.
 Of Clans and Clones and Clowns by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.18 | 40 ratings

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars It is a long time since I last came across Israeli act Soul Enema, who were formed back in 2001, and released their debut 'Thin Ice Crawling' back in 2010 through Mals and Musea. It gained a lot of positive reaction at the time, but for some reason it has taken some seven years for them to release the follow-up. That of course may have to something to do with the fact that only keyboard player Constantin Glantz is still there, so in many ways this is a brand-new band. Singer Noa Gruman is a real find, as she is at home in whatever musical style that the band are prepared to throw out, and there are certainly plenty of them. The easiest way to describe these guys are as progressive, but progressive rock in its very truest sense as they bring in elements of melodic rock, progressive rock and metal, ethnic, psychedelic, jazz-fusion, sympho-rock elements etc., with a somewhat theatrical approach to the lyrics.

There are times when I find myself thinking of Orphaned Land in the way they approach some of the music, and a closer inspection of the guests shows the appearance of Yossi Sassi (ex-Orphaned Land, Yossi Sassi Band), as well as Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One). The album was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend, etc.), so as well as being intriguing in a musical sense, the production allows every instrument and nuance to shine show how important each element is to the overall sound. I haven't much from the Israeli music scene, and if this is an example of what is being produced out of that country then I really need to hear some more. The album is intriguing, and musically all over the place, so that if the listener doesn't like what is going on just wait a minute as it is going to be changing soon. I love this album, and sincerely hope that we're not going to have wait another seven years until we get the next one.

 Thin Ice Crawling by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Thin Ice Crawling
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PA never ceases to surprise me! I´m always looking for something new and I can count of finding several of them with the help of fellow reviewer. Soul Enema is one of them, even if they were not fortunate in chosing their name. This is definitly one of the most interesting things I´ve heard recently. this band from Israel has something quite rare for their debut: originality. While the several styles blended together here are quite familiar to most bands nowadays (prog metal, folk, ethnic, eastern, symphonic, gothic, etc) the results are not. It´s very hard to label them and I guess that ecletic prog is indeed the closest one I can think of to do them some justice. However, this mass of sounds could go very wrong and it doesn´t, and that´s all that matters. In fact, the music is quite fluid and although far from perfect, it is still excellent and very promising.

I really enjoyed Irina Sherr´s voice: while she does not have a very strong voice, she sounds like no one and that´s is something rare. I´m glad her delivers to be in her natural way instead of another operatic female singer of the day, which might have had gotten this band too close to dozens of other gothic metal combos. The instrumental parts are as good as, with several great duets/duels between guitars and keyboards. The latter were played by Constantin Glantz. He is the mastermind behind all this, having writing all the lyrics, most of the music and also providing the sound effects and weird male vocals. His playing is very personal, with some fine lines and origianl solos.

The band plays like seasoned professionals and they might be very big if they keep exploring those wonderful sounds the way they do. Their songwriting is superb: all the tracks are very good, helped and enhanced by the excellent production and the tasteful arrangements. Very melodic, very well done and performed. Israel now has a prog band that knows how to bring their culture to the world in a common language. I´m looking forward to hear their next releases.

Conclusion: delightful listening! A band to watch for. Final rating: 4 strong stars.

 Thin Ice Crawling by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Thin Ice Crawling
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The case of a crush that wears of after some listenings.

I really liked this album after the first listening session. Sometimes though, a crush does not developes into true love. Hence the divorce rate of those who marries after only a few weeks of knowing each other. The progressive rock advice is to let the feelings mature over a long time before, if it is true love, investing in expensive gold and diamond rings. All the important things you learn from a review in Progarchives.

Soul Enema is a new band from Israel. Their music comes across as a blend of goth rock and neo prog with some eclectic prog influences. I get a lot of Magenta vibes from some of the songs. Other songs gives me some generic female lead goth metal and rock vibes. I also believe some of the new female vocals fronted British bands sounds like this. I have only heard Panic Room of these and they are in the same alley as Soul Enema....... more or less.

This album is good though. The band sounds competent and Irina Sherr's vocals is very good. The band also softens up and broadens out their sound with some good, long symphonic prog like keyboards runs. But that is all I get from this album. I find it agreeable and good on the ears, although the crush I got did not develop into true love. The band is talented though and I have reason to believe next album may be the next big one unless they get signed by one of the German goth metal labels and develops into a Nightwish copycat. Let's hope not.

3 stars

 Thin Ice Crawling by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Thin Ice Crawling
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Soul Enema is one of the most promising bands from progressive rock genre in last years. They release this year at russian label Mals the album Thin ice crawling and is , at least to me in top 5 I've heared so far from this year. The band is coming from Israel and was formed almost 10 years ago. I was very pleasent surprise about this album, the music is very innovativ and intelligent, quite original, a hard thing to find on most of the new and young bands from this genre.Combining elements from symphonic prog zone with blistering keybords, with some easter infuse arrangements to even progressive metal parts, and on top of that a solid voice coming from Irina Sherr. Brilliant ideas , great musicianship makes from this album a total winner, every piece is well developed, complex structures, quite lenghty , all pieces have over 7 min, enough room to show that Soul Enema mean bussines in this field. Very captivating keybords arrangements, who together with the guitar make a real treasure this album to listen and to have in the end in any collection. It's pretty said that this album doesn't get the attention they deseare, at least here only one review befor mine, ok rated with 5 stars, quite agree with that, but for sure this band needs a wider recognition because worth every second their music. I will gibe a solid 4 , very strong and original album, and even is quite excelelnt for sure in the end of the year thier status will remain the same, almost unknown to everybody. Recommended one of the best albums in last years and to me in top 5 from 2010.
 Thin Ice Crawling by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Thin Ice Crawling
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Almost a decade in the making, Israeli band Soul Enema has made a most promising debut as recording artists with Thin Ice Crawling.

In some respects this album reminds of another Israeli act, namely Amaseffer. Progressive metal spiced with exotic textures of eastern origin and cinematic inspired passages is very much the name of the game for this band as well, but in the case of Soul Enema the formula is expanded. Ambient sequences close to Vangelis, inspired symphonic progressive rock and more distinctly folk, classical and medieval inspired motifs are just as much a part of the proceedings as Dream Theater school progressive metal, and blending textures, instruments and sounds from the different stylistic expressions are done with ease and with style.

The end result is a demanding album, with more twists and turns to be witnessed than in a lengthy ballet, but with the same fluency of motion and elegance as a top notch dancer. Not quite the same amount of perfection, albeit nothing musically is as flawed as the choice of moniker for this outfit.

Highly recommended to the attentive progressive metal aficionado with a soft spot for complex music of this variety.

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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