Endlichkeit – Endlichkeit IX (self released, 18 May 2015)
Good morning! Gonna make this a short and sweet one, because it’s going to be a busy day for me. Headed out to a show tonight — something I’d almost never do on a weeknight, but there’s just no way I could miss a show like this one. But of course that means tomorrow I will be absolutely dead to the world and so I’ll probably be extremely unproductive (you probably shouldn’t expect any new posts here, either), which means I’ll need to be extra busy today to make up for it. But I’ll take the time to share something with you real quick, a track that you can download for free, that was released on Bandcamp by the band Endlichkeit last spring. Think of this as sort of a bonus track to yesterday’s review, since this one fits together nicely with that album — not only alphabetically, but stylistically as well.
The existence of atmospheric black metal creators Endlichkeit (named for the German term for “finiteness” or “finality”) is only evident to the outside world in terms of their releases on Bandcamp, and an entry in the Encyclopaedia Metallum. No website, no social media presence, no nothing. In fact, in terms of biographical information there is only a single piece of information available, and even that is inconsistent between the two sites (Bandcamp gives the location as the United States, while the Encyclopaedia lists the Czech Republic).
So clearly, here is a band or musician who completely shuns any type of personal image, being identified and recognized absolutely and solely by the sounds they produce. So with that out of the way, let’s talk about those sounds. This new track, titled simply “IX” is the ninth that has been released by this entity; the previous eight had appeared in groups of two or three at a time as albums on Bandcamp. Despite ostensibly being rooted in black metal, these seven minutes of music are built around a chord sequence that frankly sounds peaceful and wistful, and even dangerously close to hopeful. Those chords are filled with at least as many perfect fourths, major thirds, and major sevenths as the more characteristic (for metal music, anyway) tritones or minor thirds. For the non-nerds out there, that description of “peaceful, wistful, almost hopeful” pretty much covers it. Reduced to its most basic skeletal structure, the overall tonality brings to my mind this piece, at least to some degree.
Underscoring all of that is a persistant current of drumming, alternating between two main patterns — one that’s pretty much straight sixteenths and another that has more of a half-time feel, that provide a frantic, frenetic pulse; an underlying ceaseless driving force that imbues a sense of uneasiness in contrast with the quasi-pleasantness inherent in the chords lingering above. Those chords are principally provided by tremolo-picked guitars at first, while later (sometime after the vocals enter, which are more ‘felt’ or ‘perceived’ in the mix than they are actually ‘heard’) increasingly present droney synth-like sounds sort of wash out any sense of definition there may have been in the guitars, leaving more noise than notes shining through. At least, until the final 20-30 seconds as the various elements begin to drift away…
Like each of their previous releases, Endlichkeit IX can be downloaded for free (or you can pay any price you choose) via Bandcamp:
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