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Enigma - The Screen Behind the Mirror (Virgin)

Enigma return with their fourth album, following on from "La Roi Est Mort...", which failed to make the same impact as their two previous releases. This should be the album that redefines the band's sound for the future and ends the perception of them as an early '90s phenomenon. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to do so. Instead of moving forward, they've gone right back to the dark, oppressive feel of their debut. They've replaced the Gregorian chants with samples from Carl Orff's big, brash choral piece 'O Fortuna', a piece that has been used by so many people at this stage, from Psychic TV to Old Spice ads, it's largely a cliché.

The single, 'Gravity of Love', is a big powerful piece, mixing the slightly distorted vocals of Ruth Ann from the English dance band Olive with the 'O Fortuna' samples and a standard Enigma style electro backing. The problem is that it says nothing new, nothing different. That's the case with the rest of the CD as well. It is, however, a perfectly fine Enigma album, continuing sounds and themes from its predecessors. If you're still a fan of the band's work, or are interested in a sound that is now fairly retro, you're unlikely to be disappointed with this. However, if you're more of the opinion that the Enigma sound is hopelessly dated, this isn't going to change your mind.

Donnacha DeLong

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