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Altarage – Endinghent

by Jon Conant at 26 November 2017, 11:52 AM

Now this is an interesting one because ALTARAGE seem to want to appear as this mysterious band that becomes known for being unknown kind of thing, that’s right, we don’t get to know who the band members are. Oooooh, spooky. Honestly I think they are so goddamn metal nobody is gonna ever question it. This is the kind of persistent droning black/death metal that caused me to be startled in my chair when out of nowhere on track 4 there appeared a few seconds of harsh grumbling vocals. But I digress…Altarage originally came out with a demo in 2015, before a full length in 2016, and now their second full length effort we have here, “Endinghent.” Now the only question remains, is the album good? Well yes, if you like black metal. Fortunately, I do! And away we go…

Immediately this album establishes how fucking cool it is with track one, first of all, it’s called “Incessant Magma.” That’s amazing. And then the very first thing you hear is hard to describe, but I think it’s Satan himself doing guest vocal work, and also it’s like the last vocals you hear except for select few moments throughout the album. It’s a cool way to start the album to establish just now black metal you are, and I respect it. Maybe these guys, being unknown, will become like the actual metal version of GHOST (no GHOST is not metal and yes GHOST sucks).

“Spearheaderon” and “Cataclysmic Triada” really start to show why Altarage could break away as a potentially marketable black metal band, as opposed to bands that just truly don’t care. Both of these tracks, which are #2 and #3, start to show more technically riffing guitar work and even some bassy chugging riffs, granted the bass and rhythm were mixed a lot softer. But I suspect that is them purposefully staying true to the black metal sound.  There are some vocals, but they are soft, grumbled, and I’m not convinced there are actual lyrics, and if there were I think we can pretty much figure they would be “Death, death. Death death death.”

The middle of the album is anchored by their tour de force of harsh vocals, “Rift.” Okay, there really aren’t more harsh vocals on this track than any other, but they are more evenly spread out than any other track. So it kinda feels like more. “Barrier” is a brutal closer that goes through highs and lows before slowing the fuck down and showing just how long it can make you wait before a song fully fades out. It’s really metal, it’s not for everyone, but it’s pretty cool. Of course all the guys out there who listen to black metal regularly probably just think I am an ass who needs to listen to more, and they may very well be right. But anyways…

This is album was really cool if you know how to get into black metal. It ultimately was atmospheric, droning, heavy, and most of all slow. Are these guys gonna become the next big thing for being mysterious despite being this brutal? Who knows. But they displayed some technical guitar work, and there were some riffs in there that were pretty cool (I enjoyed “Weighteer” a lot, complete with the 2+ minute fade out). Take it for what it is, and know it is for those that truly enjoy black/death metal.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Incessant Magma
2. Spearheaderon
3. Cataclysmic Triada
4. Fold Eksis
5. Rift
6. Orb Terrax
7. Weighteer
8. Barrier
No Known Lineup
Record Label: Season of Mist


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