Published on Sunday, 05 March 2017 21:13
Album title: Emën Etan
Release date: 1 March 2017
Label: Obscure Abhorrence Productions/Dread Records
01. Among The Graves
03. When The Crows Flew Above Märhn
04. Das Hexenhaus
05. The Black Hen's Blood
06. Insidious Portrait
07. Emën Etan
09. The Witch's Fire
10. Under A Carpathian Yoke (Vlad Tepes cover)
This is phenomenal, there is simply no other possible description for a duet that since its formation in 2010 has been treating us with a true form of black metal, yet full of emotion, full of energy, evil atmosphere and overwhelming force. The brilliant mind behind all this magnificence is I.L. (Luciferia), who's responsible for vocals, guitars, bass and also synths. His partner in crime, Thomas Njodr, is the one who makes drums sound as another force of nature with undeniably perfect presence. The timing between these two geniuses is incredible. Luciferia was also responsible for the artwork, beside that he wrote all the music and all lyrics for their third full-lenght named Emën Etan.
Ende astonished me already with their first album, Whispers Of A Dying Earth, released in 2011. The rebirth Of I was the name of second full length and the band also released, The God's Rejects demo in 2015 and a song, "Notre Falaise", for the split EP named Le Puits des Morts together with Sorcier des Glaces in 2016.
Emën Etan is a real black metal masterstroke! All the tracks are powerful and this work shows us much more aggression than anything Ende did before. The tracks "Among The Graves" and "Insidius Potrait" are instrumentals. "Among The Graves" is a perfect intro to set up the right mood, it blends some horrific field recordings of natural elements (sounds of thunders and of course the crows) with a dark ambient atmosphere. There's an interesting strategy applied on this album how the tracks are put in order. This devilish ambiental intro is followed by four tracks of purest raw but atmospheric black metal, retaining all the qualities and elements of cultish old school sound. Sounds of church hymns and cries of a burned woman are very well chosen elements to increase the density of the third track "When Crows Flew Above Marhn". Then, after all the raving madness, gentle rain, the sound of classical guitar, a journey of peace amid all the fury and aggression from the rest of the album. Extremely fast yet technical drumming, frostbitten tremolo guitar riffs,... and if I closed my eyes Ende's sound took me to snowy peaks of icy mountains in the northern hemisphere. I felt in love with Luciferia’s vocals, ehmm shrieks, his style reminds me to early Mayhem (Dead) or to the first recordings of Burzum. The next four tracks are nothing else but what every black metal fan should crave for in this unique style. I really don’t know if this was Luciferia's intention. But if it was, again this kind of structure was a triumph, it gives to the listener some time to breath in between the punishment with all the malevolent strength over them again and again. The last track, "Under A Carpathian Yoke", is a cover of the french black metal band Vlad Tepes. Wlad Drakksteim, vocalist and guitarist of Vlad Tepes made guest vocals on this astonishing track.
The unpolished and rough production just adds to the whole experience a certain dark malevolent feeling, it's almost like being thrown back in the late 80s or early 90s when black metal was still primordial evil force of musical expression. I can say that if Ende were not properly recognized among the "blackest" of metalheads until now, I'm sure that with Emën Etan this scenario will change. While listening to this album it's impossible to get bored, they mesmerize you from the beginning to the end.
Review written by: Felin Frost