There are many things that I look forward to from one year to the next whether it be just the new releases as a general or an almost-guaranteed new effort from bands that can somehow dish out material on a damn regular basis. Some like Inter Arma have got a solid three-year release schedule that seems to work out great for their main albums, and others, like Esoctrilihum, put out works much, much more often to the point that it’s almost shocking. For a few years, Ende was on that list, but in the two years since we’ve got a fully fleshed out full-length from this French act, and it’s that time that they’ve been honing their already ferocious sound into something no less than what can be contemplated as their peak.
My love for Ende is far from secret. The band is one that I still highly revere with their sophomore effort, “The Rebirth of I”, always being mentioned whenever I mention Ende with it still being one of my absolute favorites works of the style, and it will likely stay that when even as Ende continues to march forward. But, be that as it may, that doesn’t automatically make it the best that Ende can do by any stretch of the imagination. It’s great to have quality riffs and a tremendous atmosphere, but to constantly try to hone your craft in order to create a sound that you can truly call your own and make it work splendidly is an accomplishment all on its own. We saw a transition to such a form for this French act with their previous full-length, but it’s now within the confines of “Mörnöyr, Bienvenue en Terre du Diable” that I can easily say that we’ve arrived at that very point.
While you should not be going into this record feeling that you’re going to get a completely new experience the likes of which we’ve never heard from Ende before, but there are small yet fantastic changes to lap up like homemade ice cream. “Mörnöyr” sees Ende feel much more mature than ever as it’s in all nine tracks, even including the three instrumental and largely atmospheric tracks, we are constantly getting a confidently bold but still incredibly harsh take on black metal that is the natural evolution of what this band has been heading towards for years now, and it’s in each track that we get tiny morsels of the progress that Ende is making to constantly better themselves bit by bit. Sweeping melodies that flow into one another gorgeously, a severely haunting but gripping atmosphere that permeates the entirety of “Mörnöyr”, the instruments that all feel to be works from mature craftsmen rather than products from a fervent but mostly unhoned musician, vocals that are as devilishly spectacular as we could hope for, an occasional solo that would normally feel out of place for a work like this, and an attitude whose power cannot be denied; peak Ende. I could say that Ende has gotten better with each record in order to make them sound even more grandiose, and while that’s still true in small parts, you’d be hard-pressed to try and argue that of all of Ende’s highlights, it is here within the nine pieces of “Mörnöyr” that we’ve gotten what can only be considered the most complete record that this band has created up to now.
This will always be one of those bands that I always look forward to hearing new material from no matter how often it comes around or how long I find myself crawling back to the name of Ende, and it’s only because I know that with each new visit I’ll find myself falling in love with another strong piece of black metal that’s not to be ignored. “Bienvenue en Terre du Diable” roughly translates to “Welcome to the Devil’s Land”. Listening to this album with that thought in mind, you come to realize that, truly, this is the soundtrack to the soul as it approaches the fires and pits of the Underworld to be consumed by all that there is and can be.
“Mörnöyr, Bienvenue en Terre du Diable” releases on November 10th via Obscure Abhorrence Productions!
LISTEN to Ende on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Ende on Facebook here.