Endstille: Infektion 1813

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Endstille: Infektion 1813
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Endstille: Infektion 1813
Black Metal
Season of Mist Records
May 17th, 2011
Release length: 46:12
Myspace
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Endstille is a German Black Metal act that formed back in 2000. Since then the group has been releasing new full-length efforts in a rather timely manner, each one staying strong and not violating the expectations of their fans. Infektion 1813 becomes the group’s seventh album in the nine years that followed the release of their debut full-length effort, not to mention the two split albums in the years a full-length was not recorded, and it’s an album that shows the band has no signs of giving up. Fully embracing the more modern sound of aggressive Black Metal, this album is a decleration that being consistent does not meant putting out an inferior product.

Bridging gaps between the more modern or third wave Black Metal style and general structuring of the later second wave bands, Infektion 1813 is an aggressive album from start to finish. The album starts with “Anomie”, a song that may be the most unique for the style, but has enough venous vocals and razor-sharp music coursing through it to slice away at the listener with it’s furious attitude coupled with blastbeats and the underlying traditional Black Metal rhythm creating a sinister shadow to coincide with the commanding performance that feels almost militaristic. The only genuinely unique element of the track, however, becomes when the music stops, and the title of the song, “Anomie”, is lightly whispered in the silence as the music kicks back up a brief moment later. This intense start shows off the band’s ability to take the best of classic and newer ideas for the style and mold them together well. It all comes together to capture that intense sound thanks to the more modern recording quality, leaving behind that underground raw sound for a more pollished feeling that doesn’t undermine the distortion and intensity of the music at all, staying muddy enough that the music just sounds heavier then most bands that attempt a recording with this kind of quality to it.

While the aggressive nature of the music is one reason that Infektion 1813 becomes a strong album, it’s the tracks that seem to bring in a melancholic atmosphere with a little bit of a groove to it that makes the song infectious. “Blood H (The Hurt-Gene)” is simply catchy as hell thanks to a solid groove that one might expect from a second generation song that could almost border on a Swedish Death Metal inspiration. Because of the hooks used with the general groove of the track, the song immediately becomes lodged in your head, leaving the listener to start head banging right along with it. Of course it doesn’t end there, as “The Deepest Place on Earth” has that type of groove to it, but just not as strong, more like a background template then anything that is layered with traditional Black Metal chords that create a stunningly melancholic sound. But that’s not what makes the song really stand out. What “The Deepest Place on Earth” has going for it is it’s sinister atmosphere laced with the random marching moments with chanting in the back that feels like a military unit chanting along with the vocals, and the rest of the track giving such a depressing and ominsous sound to the general vibe and atmosphere that it becomes hard to put down for how well the song is executed, as well as the feeling of execution for walking away from it in the first place.

But, for the most part, the album feels ripe with intensity and aggression, which is something Endstille is able to pull off nicely. There isn’t a time where you won’t be paying attention to the music of the album, though the lack of anything that genuine or original in the music outside of the equivelents of gang chants on “The Deepest Place on Earth” and the intense yet more traditional sounding “World Aflame”, and the brief whispered vocals on “Anomie” will leave the music sounding a little on the repetitive side after a while. Each track has a strong, unique sound to it, though there are times where the music will sound vageuly familiar to other passages on this album, but not to the point where it becomes annoying or ruins the whole experience. The general pace of the music doesn’t help things either, as it all seems to go at one speed: Neck-breaking. “Bloody H (The Hurt-Gene)” has a slower pace due to it’s more groove driven music, and the same can be said for “Wrecked”, but other then those two tracks the album hammers away full speed with very little differences in the other tracks outside of perhaps kicking that speed up even more. In the end though, while the music demands your attention, after a while you’ll become a little antsy from the obvious focus, but lack of variety which, of course, isn’t the worst thing that could happen to this recording.

There is also the closing track, “Endstille (Völkerschlächter)”, and it does manage to offer a bit of variety to the music, though not too much. The nearly eleven minute song sounds heavy, and is approached more as a Droning track then anything after a while due to it’s repeating verse throughout much of the song with random deeply spoken words muttered in the background of the song. It goes on for quite some time, but there are moments where it kind of sounds looped, as if edited in a studio to extend the life of the song, though I can’t verify that is exactly what is going on here. It’s not bad with how it drones on, but it’s like listening to a dead horse getting beat as it just continues on and on, well past the point of the listener caring, and ultimately isn’t that memorable a song outside a memory of how it seemed to just go on forever and never quit. While it’s impressive to hear the dexterity of the band from staying in beat with the track and playing at the faster pace they do, the aforementioned loop suspicions make it a little less credible by one of the cymbol crashes stopping abruptly for no real reason on more then one occassion, and immediately leave this a track that will be skipped on future playthroughs.

In the long run though, Endstille deliver to their fans once more w