October 13, 2017

Altarage - Endinghent

By Bryan Camphire. The more I listen to this record the more I want to turn it up. Bilbao's Altarage have delivered another scorcher of a release, and repeated listens can feel like witnessing the spreading of wildfire.
By Bryan Camphire.


The more I listen to this record the more I want to turn it up. Bilbao's Altarage have delivered another scorcher of a release, and repeated listens can feel like witnessing the spreading of wildfire. The band has upped the ante for themselves on Endinghent, their second proper full length in as many years. The record plays on the strengths that made their debut Nihl so remarkable, and makes everything meaner. This is caustic death metal played on a colossal scale.

Opener "Incessant Magma" gets right to it. Searing guitars are tremolo picked as the rhythm section pounds out a violent undulating dirge. It erupts white hot and blots out everything in its wake. Endinghent is a record that makes you want to throw up your fists while it pulls you under, deep into its pyroclastic flow. Still, for all of the band's vivid roiling might, it's the excellent song writing that keeps the listener coming back. The tunes each possess a distinct individuality, and there is not a dull cut in the batch.

Photos by Pedro Roque.

What makes Endinghent a meaningful record is its ability to deliver hopeless blackened death metal in a fresh way. Altarage add a secret ingredient to their ominous sound—something which has made metal so engaging since its inception, something that has a tendency to get subjugated in the name of innovation. Simply put, they play riffs that make you want to headbang.

All of the instruments possess this propulsive quality. And yet the playing is never formulaic, always nuanced. The rhythm section changes things up often enough to keep things from getting predictable, yet still manages to grind out rhythms that make you want to break stuff. The guitars come across like parasitic cordyceps worming their way into your brain and dominating your thoughts and feelings. Unique unexpected chord choices open the music up at intervals. The sinking spiraling entropy never lets up.

Endinghent triumphs as a work of meticulously calculated order that gives way to an outpouring of raw, cataclysmic fury. It infiltrates and takes control. All the while, this music breeds virulent destruction like a nemesis bent on stopping overpopulation. Listen to Endinghent and bang your head as the world burns.

Tagged with 2017, Altarage, black metal, Bryan Camphire, death metal, Pedro Roque
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