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 tracklist of
"Blistering Cold", "Night Whispers Blood", "Sounds of Oblivion", "Darkened Skies", and "The Silent Enigma" 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. Regardless, this is a very
interesting release that all black metal fans should try to obtain.
(Since my first review of this album, Bombworks Records has released the disc to the general public.
Once a much-sought-after, never-released album is now out there for all to hear! The Bombworks release has been re-mastered
and sounds much better than the original version. I hear that the album will be released in a very limited quantity,
so you may want to act on buying it very quickly before it becomes a rarity and you have to shell out a pretty penny on Ebay.)
Review by Matt