This seems to be an excellent year for so called “super groups“ (I mentioned it before, didn’t I?): Pressure Cracks, Umbra Vitae, next week Living Gate (Church of Ra + YOB) will release their debut EP on Relapse Records and now End‘s debut album Splinters from an ever-changing Face is here.
Consisting of members of Counterparts, Fit for an Autopsy, Reign Supreme, Shai Hulud and Dillinger Escape Plan, End are here to melt your face. Apropos face:
In the old days of MySpace.com there was a post by the great Dillinger Escape Plan regarding their progress of the album Ire Works. If I remember correctly, it was written by their singer Greg. He described his theory of „the face“. „The face“ happens every time Ben (Weinmann, guitarist of the Dillinger Escape Plan) writes something so surprising, hard or cool, his face just changed. He couldn’t control it. It could be just nodding or a certain facial expression, like biting the lips or, in my case, moving the lower jaw a little bit forward. It was certainly a sign of approval.
Was does this have to do with End? End don’t fall into the same genre as the Dillinger Escape Plan, but they share the same ability to pull off musical things that lead to „the face“. I don’t mean weird technical stuff, I mean crushing, well-timed mosh-parts, like the end of „Pariah“ or in „Evening Arms“ for example. Those things aren’t new, but they are perfectly executed here. I just can‘t help myself but think of the chorus of the Darkest Hour song „These fevered Times“: „It hits like a ton of bricks, to the chest, out of breath, on the bathroom floor“.
There‘s no breather or quiet instrumental on this album. Every track compresses your ears with at least one breakdown per song and they are always ready to incite huge movements in confined spaces.
This records sounds massive and as abrasive as it should, thanks to Will Putney, guitarist on and producer of this album (other works include the last Harms Way and Norma Jean albums and of course Fit for an Autopsy). Will Putney has become one of my favourite producers when it comes to Deathcore and Metalcore records. He has a way making them sound differentiated and at the same time „turn it up to 11“ kind of heavy.
Splinters from an ever-changing Face definitely marks a highlight for me this year. It is hard to describe why End hits a lot harder than most metal bands, but I guess it resonates just because you feel the honest to God heaviness. So, if you have the urge to lose control over your face, listen to this record and let the grooves mosh you to mush.