There have been many, many, many bands out there that managed to make an impression on me, but like with everyone, I have a select few bands that I can’t wait to hear new material from. Be it Cannibal Corpse, Inter Arma, Biotoxic Warfare, or Itnuveth, there’s always something around the corner for me. And since 2015 I’ve been waiting for a truly special band that instead of me stumbling upon them, the band found me (which is always nice). It was Ende’s demo of “The God’s Rejects” that caught my attention, the band’s second full-length of “The Rebirth of I” that got my respect and love, and it’s their split with Sorcier des Glaces, “Le Puits des Morts”, that made me a real fan. Now, all I had to do was wait for another full-length to immerse myself in, and my patience has been well-rewarded with the glory that is “Emën Etan”.
A band hailing from France isn’t rare, but a French black metal band isn’t something that I’d personally expect. That made my discovery of the band all the more awesome, and what really drew me in was how well Ende can use icy riffs and classic tropes of black metal to the utmost advantage to really captivate the listener. It was displayed masterfully with “The Rebirth of I” which helped it become one of my absolute favorite records to have come out that year, and the aforementioned split in the following year was fantastic. I say that for many reasons, but one in particular: it showed that Ende wasn’t a one-album band (a band that’ll make one awesome record and then immediately tanks in quality), which was a massive relief for someone like me who was highly anticipating new material. As with every group that has a good track record, there was an ever-present question that loomed with the eventuality of Ende’s third full-length: will it hold up to its predecessors? Thankfully, the answer is a big FUCK YEAH IT DID!!
For me, I listen to an album once, twice, three times and sometimes a few more in order to get a real good feeling for the material, and then I come here and type words for you people to eat with your eyes. But with “Emën Etan” . . . I simply couldn’t do that. I needed literally days to fully encompass this slab of awesomeness. Ende may have astounded me with their previous two releases, but it’s this record that has to take the black cake. If “The Rebirth of I” was to show how well Ende could use the instruments and if “Le Puits des Morts” was to show Ende wasn’t a fad, then “Emën Etan” is the record that definitively shows the supreme levels of musicianship behind this two-man band. The ten tracks we’re presented here with “Emën Etan” (including the two instrumental tracks and a Vlad Tepes cover) are simply top tier quality black metal the likes of which we rarely get to see anymore. While using their instruments to their utmost potential, Ende still manages to remain fairly minimalistic in their style, and that really helps make the overall marvel of “Emën Etan” all the more applause-worthy. “Emën Etan” has everything you could ever possibly want from a black metal record, and it just keeps on giving every single time. Not many bands can do that repeatedly, yet Ende has done it for a third time now, and hopefully maybe this effort will be what gives Ende the recognition they’ve been slowly building up to.
As someone who does his absolute best to look at every single album, I investigate both critically and subjectively (because it’s impossible not to have a subjective view on music, let’s be real) to be as fair yet honest as much as I can. With that being said, after literal days of hearing every morsel and investigating every inch of “Emën Etan”, I can easily say that this will stand as one of my favorite records this year. I’m calling it right now! Ende has always managed to blow me away in every single aspect, and by Satan, they’ve fucking done it again! Should you want an album that will give you what easily the most delicious piece of pure black metal that will be thrown at us this year, Ende’s gift of “Emën Etan” is what you’re going to want. There’s no question about it. Bang your head, grab your torches, and prepare for an onslaught, for Ende has returned to lay waste to the land with another testament of glorious darkness!
“Emën Etan” releases on March 1st!
PRE-ORDER “Emën Etan” on Bandcamp here.
LISTEN to “Emën Etan” in full via Transcending Obscurity here.
LIKE Ende on Facebook here.