Aenima – Never Fragile

The 6-track EP “Never Fragile” is the second cd of the Portuguese band Aenima, after a full-length debut in 1999. It is also the second release by the young label Equilibrium Music, after a mcd by Dwelling. The music of Aenima can be described as a combination of gothic rock and ethereal wave. The heavenly female vocals of singer Carmen are an important trademark. The other four bandmembers add guitars, drums, keyboards and samples. Apparently two members left the band after the release of this EP. Aenima has built up quite some live experience, with performances at the German M’Era Luna festival as highlights.

The first of the six songs is an atmospheric keyboard intro. Then follows ‘Forlorn’, which starts slow and melancholic, reminding me a little of All About Eve. The composition is then gradually built up with subtle guitar and keyboard work. It results in a nice climax. The vocals of Carmen range from high and angel-like to deep and lamenting on this track. Next is ‘At the Edge of a Cliff’, a haunting dark rock song, with heavier guitars. Carmen sings a little more aggressive on this desperate lovesong: “What do I need your roses for? / What do I need your letters for? / Just take me out of here and drive far away”.

‘The light’, as the title already indicates, lightens up the mood a little. The lyrics show more hope: “You healed all the wounds I had for years / You showed me there was a light at the end of the world / So guide me into your light”. It’s really a convincing uptempo and dynamic track, with tight drumming and guitars. Next is ‘Lilith’, a softer piece. The high and reverberating voals are perhaps a little over-the-top here, but that’s only a minor critisicm. The last song, ‘The rapture’, is a long atmospheric piece, in which the keyboards play an important role and with a rocking climax.

The music of Aenima is not spectacular of revolutionary. But the songs are solid and are performed in a convincing way. The voice of Carmen is surely a strong weapon. Although various influences can be heard in their music, from ethereal 4AD acts to gothic rock/metal bands like The Gathering or Nightwish, Aenima possesses enough qualities to have a bright future ahead of them.

artist: Aenima
label: Equilibrium Music
details: 6 tracks