Videoclip of the Month!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Endstille - Infektion 1813

Endstille - Infektion 1813

Infektion 1813 is Endstille’s seventh album release, and that’s actually quite a lot considering that they have only been around since 2000. Released mid May 2011, this is one of the most anticipated albums to come out this year. With their previous releases being all over the place in terms of style, who knew what these guys will bring out next. When this came out, it was a race to see who could get their opinion out first. I have to say, I was not disappointed. This could be a strong contender for black metal album of the year 2011 and if it’s not at the top, it should be bloody well close. 

Endstille is one of a few bands that have busted out into the black metal scene in the dawn of the century. With their first release Operation Wintersturm being their crowning album and what many fans have come to love about these guys. I can tell you now, these guys are back their old style. For people who didn’t like their 2009 album Verfuhrer, this is a chance to give Endstille another go.

The music has really changed from their past albums. The music collectively on this album seems to be far superior to what they have released in the past; the recording is a lot better, musically its better and all round it seems more polished than their older releases. They have really taken a huge leap forward with this album and have introduced us listeners to a whole new frontier of black metal which is never a bad thing. With the most notable improvements over their previous albums being in the recording quality, song writing and most importantly the music.

These guys are pure black metal, they show absolutely no influence from other genres of music (except for maybe death metal, but even that is minute). They have everything you want from a true black metal band, blast beats that kill, black metal style vocals and song structure that makes sense. This album also has a few extras which many other black metal bands which share the same style seem to forget and these include; atmosphere, references to other events or eras (its not essential but it helps) and finally and most importantly… variety. Not many brutal black metal bands nowadays seem to vary their music too much for some reason, which is a shame. This is another great thing that Endstille has displayed with this release and it’s their flexibility in terms of their music. There seems to be more than just one style that is apparent in their music, although it might not be one of their primary genres, there seems to be a very strong element of depressive or suicidal black metal. There are times in this album where it does feel like this type of mood is trying to be promoted to the listener.

There is also an extremely strong sense of atmosphere and landscape in this album. I don’t know about what other people might perceive but when I hear some of the tracks on this album, I get a feeling of huge feeling of vastness of landscape. It’s almost that they have painted a picture into my mind of a desolate horizon in the distance. This is definitely brought about by the guitars, the riffs and chords are played in a way that has a swaying affect. It doesn’t only slide up and down the pitch gradient but “sways” across it. This probably makes up the biggest component of the atmospheric side of their music. Now, there is another style of landscape and atmosphere present in this album which is also really strong. But it has as much to do with the references to World War Two as much as with the music itself. The music doesn’t play a big role in creating this theme, but there are parts where there are mock radio communications, public announcements and general dialogue which promotes this feeling. I think it is more about raising awareness about the main theme of this album to remind the listener what this album is trying to represent, which we are definitely not going to forget.

Musically, like I have said before, these guys have made improvements in practically all of the aspects of their music. There is no point or section in this album where is feels like these guys have taken a step backwards in some way or another. The music is extremely tight and technical, the atmosphere and theme fits in perfectly well with the music and best of all, it’s fast, brutal and makes sense all at the same time. Also, they have kept the momentum going without feeling like they have compromised their melody or song structure in any way. Also, the music is not repetitive at all now that is something not many brutal black metal bands can or choose to do.

Another thing that makes this album so good is that each member of the band appears to have adequate skill to play the music that they do. They have managed to fit everything in perfectly with each other, leaving no holes in their music. The vocals in this album are very well done, they are utilized in the correct manner for the correct situations. Also, there is no sense of repetition or sounding monotone as well. He doesn’t only shriek, he does indeed growl and if you keep your ears peeled, there are instances where he uses clean vocals. Also he utilizes two styles of shrieks or screams throughout the whole album. Now onto the guitars, like I have mentioned before, the guitars are played in such a way that they seem to have a swaying effect in the music which is relatively common in the brutal black metal genre. The guitars are very evenly weighted and they don’t seem to overpower any of the other instruments. Also the pitch and tone of the guitars are just the style you want… black metal. Now finally, the drumming, the drumming is definitely the highlight of this album. It’s extremely fast, technical, on time and just sounds awesome. He keeps a very good pace and he does seem to be a very skilled drummer.  The blast beats of course take centre stage on this album when it comes to the instruments themselves, and I can see why they did that.

Now, there are some very good tracks on this album. The best thing about this album is there is a lot of variety here. Its not just all drumming and strumming and singing, there is a lot more to their music. The opening track is Anomie, like any good opening track, it sets the scene for the rest of the album. It is one of the more outstanding tracks on this album. It features everything great about this band. Also, as soon as you hit play, the blast beats hit you like a fully loaded train. The music is powerful and well constructed, its obvious that they have put some thought into creating the this track. The next track to mention is the track Bloody H (The Hurt-Gene), now this track is a lot more melodic than the other tracks. It features slower tempos, better melodies and clean vocals. The clean vocals aren’t that great, but they contribute to the already present ambience in this track. Another track to mention is When Kathaaria Falls, it is one of the more depressing tracks on the album but it is still a pretty intense track to listen to.

Overall, this is one hell of an album. Endstille has definitely moved forward with this album, and it surprised its fans by bringing out something like this straight after an album like Verfuhrer. This album is definitely a contender for being one of the best black metal albums to come out in 2011, I cannot see any band in the near future releasing anything with quite the same impact or oomph this year. But then again, Marduk is right up their alley. These guys should hold their heads tall as this is an extremely impressive release and can stand tall as being the new leaders of the brutal black metal scene. I recommend this album to anyone who likes extreme metal in general because everything about this album is extreme but especially fans of Marduk and Infernal War and also people who enjoyed  Operation Wintersturm as this is kind of like a revival of their older style. I would also like to recommend the opening track Anomie because it encompasses of everything you would expect from a band like this. Now for people who like a slower more melodic style of Endstille, you cannot go any further than the track Bloody H (The Hurt-Gene). There is nothing overly depressive in this album but the track When Kathaaria Falls definitely has the strongest atmosphere.  Now for those who like good musicals, the final track Endstille (Völkerschlächter) is just a ten minute musical with a few words here and there.

Overall, I think this is an incredible album and every black metal or death metal fan should at least try this once. I give Endstille’s Infektion 1813 a respectable 19/20.

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