text: Jean Relapse
The Arcane Abyss
March 31st, 2017
Endezzma is a name I had never heard before this release. Then, I had to do the sacrosanct Encyclopaedia Metallum visit to know a bit more about the band. Norwegian black metal, a guitarist that they share with Carpathian Forest and Beastcraft, a 1993 band revived in 2005. Great, nothing more I needed to know. Now let’s focus on The Arcane Abyss, their second full-length, which is out very soon on Pulverised Records.
The promotional pictures made me expect some modern sound, and I couldn’t really say why. Maybe it’s the hot colours used on the cover art as well, considering that old school black metal tended to be monochromatic, cold, and bleak. Or it could also be the photo retouching. In the end, I was partly wrong.
You could say that The Arcane Abyss has an old-school feeling (forget about TNBM though) when you think of Carpathian Forest or any black’n’roll-ish band from the end of the 90’s. That is, at least, the first impression I had when I listened to the album. Yet, this emotion changed quite fast when the eponymous song came. Not saying that it is unrelated, but if Watain had a child, here it would be. The Dissection / Watain feeling is quite strong in the melodic composition of the track. And this comparison won’t ever leave the album (Sick Kulta Lucifer won’t make me lie neither). I could also draw the parallel thanks to the vocals, very close from what Erik Danielsson provides in the latest Watain’s releases. I will even dare comparing their second song’s title (Malferno) with Malfeitor from Lawless Darkness. No surprise that the album was mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio (he played live with Watain between 2000 and 2002 and he also produced, recorded and mixed every album).
Put aside this comparison, what to say about Endezzma’s album itself? It is pleasant to listen to. The sound is clean and smooth. The voice is raw enough not to have a too generic album. They bring some personal elements, such as a clear voice here and there, which is appreciable as it changes the slight scream variations that black metal often offers. There are also solos that emphasize the rock’n’roll touch the album has and it really brings a lot of energy.
Eventually, is it enough to really extricate themselves from the various and qualitative releases of this year? I’m not sure. While this album stays interesting and good overall, it lacks originality and persona.