The Whipping Post
Dark Endless-Dark End Times
Ok, first off...this is not Horde. This is not a copycat of Horde. And this is not the Marduk album. What this is however is a one-man, anonymous, black metal band that rakes you over the coals, gnaws you to the bone, and then slices the leftovers up into little pieces. Dark Endless, is what the Christian metal scene has been missing and is finally getting. Yes, Horde blessed us will a crushing album in 1994 that pushed the envelope with extreme Christian metal. However, since then, no band has seriously put any effort out that would even come close to touch the raw and gruesomely grim greatness that Horde achieved.
Now before you go and wet yourself, I'm not saying this album is as good as Horde. However, Dark End Times is a very powerful album that is absent of any keyboard fluff that saturates the 99% majority of Christian black metal bands out there. Granted, Antestor, Slechtvalk, Crimson Moonlight and the like are killer bands. However, this is a style that is largely untouched and is something that I've been craving for since Hellig Usvart crushed my skull almost a decade ago.
The music here is very cold and dark. The blistering, buzzsaw guitars rip through your flesh with unmerciful aggression, while the thunderous drumming pounds your ears relentlessly for nearly 21 minutes with lightening fast blasting and more double bass than you can shake a stick at. In fact, the drumming throughout this disc is very impressive. The vocals are also very well done. The black shrieks coming from this vocalist pierce the air in a very haunting nature. This is the kind of stuff that makes you feel like you are in snowy forest in Norway at midnight as the icy wind freezes your flesh...the darkness surrounding you with no way out. The torturous screams invading your space till it's difficult to breath.
Okay, most of you are probably either cracking up or rolling your eyes at those last few sentences. Really though, the atmosphere on this album is terrific.
Picking a favorite song is very difficult. The track list of "Night Whispers Blood", "Sounds of Oblivion", "The Silent Enigma", "Darkened Skies", and "Blistering Cold" are all great songs. Each one warms my little heart in it's own special way.
Well, with all the hype is their any negatives??? Well, for one thing, the production could stand to be better. Sometime we hear the ever famous "trash can lid" drum sound. Thankfully, it's not constant. However, I'm of the opinion that some lower scale production (other than trash can lids) is good for black metal. It adds to the dark feel of the music. One positive on the production side is that all the instruments are audible...even the bass guitar, which sometimes gets buried. Another annoyance is the "screams" or "yelps" at the beginning of "Darkened Skies". It sounds like he saw a ghost and got scared. Or maybe like he's trying to push a loaf or something.
The artwork and band logo are also really cool. Perfect for the type of music. Overall, I really, really like this disc. I know who the man behind it is, as do some of you. However, it's really supposed to be a secret, so I won't let on as to who it is. Another hang up is the fact that the member of this band is undecided about whether this will ever be released to the general public. I would be very disappointed if something this good doesn't see the light of day. However, it's cool that I have something underground that others don't.
If you wanna bug this guy to release this disc, send any "begging" to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward those requests to him. Maybe we can convince him to let everyone hear this great slab of Christian metal history. (Review by Matt)