Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Aenima - Never Fragile

Aenima, the Portuguese four-piece fronted by the soprano voiced Carmen, have already issued Revolutions and garnered an impressive array of reviews since their inception in 1997.

Never Fragile opens with an impressive neo-classical piece. It's followed by 'Forlorn' where the voice of Carmen soars over rippling guitars. Never Fragile displays an ethereal - gothic type of rock, honed through appearances at major European festivals. There's no denying the professional sound and the clarity of production and I'm sure Aenima will be welcomed by the gothic-industrial set but I find this entire sound frozen in the late eighties and quite frankly it doesn't do anything for me at all. I concede that 'The Light' displays some remarkable ethereal and emotional qualities especially the sounds emanating from Carmen but it's buttressed by rippling guitarlines and a rather tired goth-rock sound.

Previously Aenima have elicited comparisons with Dead Can Dance and The Cocteau Twins but the when Aenima combine their ethereal and rock tendencies it sounds like the Cranberries, and you already know how insipid that is. The bassist and drummer left Aenima shortly after the release of Never Fragile although I gather replacements have already been found. For more information go to