‘Wolf Will Swallow The Sun’
Rain Without End Productions
(Released: February 2015)
The debut album from this Kiev-based six-piece blends aspects of conventional funeral doom and death-doom and sets off on a journey into desolation without ever really settling upon its own identity.
Endlesshade successfully create an atmosphere of blissful damnation, and amidst the torturous misery there are various moments of glacial groove, synthetic revelry, blackened fury and musical progressiveness. The individual parts are always interesting and work well in isolation, but do not always bind together as a cohesive whole.
The title track is a good example of this, featuring numerous different sections that are stitched together to produce a Frankenstein’s monster of a track. Dark and scary, yes, but also slightly heavy-handed in certain places. Moments later, though, the song ‘Noctambulism’ counters this trend by gradually building towards a stunning emotional crescendo that leaves a listener gasping for respite.
One notable element of Endlesshade’s sound is the battering-ram vocal performance of Nataliia Androsova who is (though you might not have guessed until you hear the opening moments of ‘Edge’, halfway through the album’s near-hour-long duration) a woman. The agonised roar unleashed from Androsova’s throat sounds like an explosion in a Gillette factory, and yet it remains controlled and almost elegant throughout, a bit like Tom Warrior.
The guitars massage your ears like a rusty chainsaw and the drums add a gentle undercurrent of thunder. And while the keyboards occasionally feel a little undercooked, they generally add to the overall sense of exploration and emotional purging. At the end of the final song, ‘Truth Untold’, for example, the swirling synthesisers are expertly balanced against shuddering guitars.
Slow, grandiose and ferocious, Endlesshade’s ‘Wolf Will Swallow The Sun’ is an album overflowing with epic ideas and gut-churning pain. Some songs are more refined than others, some sound more bold and focused than others. But these Ukrainian soldiers of doom certainly know how to get your attention.