Canada is a great place for brewing black metal talents with its lands capable of harboring intense weather conditions that can fit the genre perfectly. France? Not so much. Yet that didn’t stop the two acts of Sorcier des Glaces (of Canada) and Ende (of France) pairing up for this split. I’ve investigated both bands before and enjoy them very thoroughly, so this split had me excited to say in the least. If you’re like me and was looking forward to the split I’m absolutely elated to tell you that you will not be disappointed.
For the vast majority who’ve likely never heard these guys before, sit your asses down and prepare for awesomeness. These two bands happen to nail two particular elements of black metal that they expertise in to varying degrees: sick use of riffs and hooks to keep you interested the entire time, and the atmosphere to send you to an ominous world or a sense of floating amongst an alternate dimension of sheer wonder. They form a perfect combination as while they both sound amazing on this split it’s Sorcier des Glaces that gets the atmosphere down perfectly and Ende that gets the riffs down to a fucking science. If there was to be a match made in Hell between two black metal bands then this pairing is the absolute epitome of it, bar none, and “Le Puits des Morts” is a beautifully malicious outcome.
Between the two bands there are four tracks for each of them giving “Le Puits des Morts” eight total tracks. Some of them reach well over five minutes and one being not even four minutes, but that gives these two far more than enough time to really flex their muscles and demonstrate what geniuses they really are. Every single track, bar the finale (Ende’s “Fehér Isten”), is an inconsistent assault on your being that is made up of brilliant riffs, cold as ice vocals, rhythms that will have you head banging to their magnificence well after they’ve finished, and enveloping atmospheres that really pull you in quicker and more deeply that what you’d normally expect. Now, there’s one thing on this split I didn’t see coming and that’s the aforementioned finale courtesy of Ende as it is the first track they’ve ever done composed completely for atmospheric reasons with no vocals and it doesn’t have an essence of malice, but quite the opposite. Experimentation is always nice to see, and mixing a little bit of dabbling in difference while still keeping true to yourselves at the core is a sign of a great band and that’s shown in massive excess with both Ende and Sorcier des Glaces.
And by the end of “Le Puits des Morts” I cannot help but tell you that even after multiple spins (I lost track) of the split I can’t help but say this is one of the most enjoyable black metal albums I’ve heard all fucking year be it a split or not. Ende and Sorcier easily fit into the small group of bands that can be considered the unsung heroes of black metal – atmospheric or no – and while they both have their albums that show more of their talent in greater detail, it’s “Le Puits des Morts” that shows how after even years of pumping out consistent excellence they can somehow come together and create a marvelous split that’s nothing to scoff at by any means. This is without a doubt one of my favorites records of the year, and I’ve no doubt many people will agree once they bathe in the record’s massive presence and monstrous levels of quality.
“Le Puits des Morts” releases on September 20th!
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