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Endolith - Chicxulub - The Fossil Record Award winner

Chicxulub - The Fossil Record
by Kimzi (Pixel Dreams) at 26 February 2019, 7:39 AM

ENDOLITH strikes hard with their second release, "Chicxulub-The Fossil Record". To better understand this Northern Norwegian, Extreme Metal trio and their sophomore release, I decided to do a little research. An endolith, by definition, is a microbe that dwells within the pores of rocks, minerals, coral and animal shells. Astrobiologists are intrigued by them because many endoliths are extremophiles , which means they can survive in places once thought inhospitable for life. After endolithic fungi were discovered on a dinosaur eggshell, it was later theorized that these fungi might have contributed to the demise of some dinosaurs. On the flip side, these same fungi were credited with preserving the eggs.

With that in mind, "Chicxulub-The Fossil Record", is a concept album centered around the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, upon listening, one may begin to wonder if ENDOLITH is leading us to question our own existence. It seems presumptuous to believe the human species will last forever. Like the dinosaurs, will we become preserved by endoliths when our time has passed or, maybe, we are simply endoliths ourselves? A rabbit hole I will save for a more cosmic day.

"Grazing Herbivores" is a beautiful intro; eighteen string players from the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra begin to paintan image of dinosaurs grazing upon the landscape when suddenly, "Bloodfiends" penetrates the atmosphere, turning the day to night as Chicxulub, the comet of chaos, exposes its power. This track introduces thunderous, speed drumming amidst the cinematic strings. It builds to a melodic, Metal rumble courtesy of Frode Hofsøy, whose death growl is clear and commanding. In case the addition of electronics in Metal was not a big enough challenge, this trio throws in some cinematic strings. This could easily become a muddy mess, but ENDOLITH seems to have a way of controlling the madness. Plus, there is something to be said about a band that can produce and mix their own material so well.

Jumping to "Rex", again we enjoy the addition of precise and sharp strings after a guitar intro that is reminiscent of Jeff Hanneman's darker SLAYERtracks. Erling Malm'sderanged style is incredible. The cinematic metal complete with a drinking chant makes me wish I had a mug of beer in my hand, while a heavy, thick guitar continues to push this track forward.

"Ichthys"instrumentation is quite brilliant; the swells of the orchestra and the Gregorian style throat singing all goes quite well with the bellowing vocals. I am still trying to appreciate death growls and singing within the same track; I much prefer to keep them on separate tracks, but I accept this preference is subjective. However, insert foot because on "Diseasons", I find myself enjoying the combination quite a bit more. The song itself is more melodic and sludgier. The ripping riffs in this song are glorious and the slower tempo is yet another example of ENDOLITH's range; this is a dark beauty.

"Kpg Impactor" for me is all about the embellishments and Roger Tunheim Jakobsen's footwork. The rolling drums would make gargoyles bang their heads. Again, the layers are piling on with added chants, sci-fi electronics and vocals that can ignite fire. ENDOLITH is really mastering their style; the experimentation is tough and demands your attention. It does not distract, but only enhances as proven in their title track, "Chicxulub".In this epic anthem, whatever they throw at you, finds a way to stick. This is their ten-minute zenith; leaving no stone unturned. I read there is a, Tom Waits, "The Earth Died Screaming",cover, so that was fun to explore and enjoy.

I have a deep respect for bands that are always looking to push the envelope with each release and I believe this group of dapper philosophers is doing just that. Even if every track may not resonate, overall this release is experimentally beautiful, but heavy enough to fuel mosh pits. Although ENDOLITH may be categorized as Death Metal or Extreme Metal, I think this intellectual metal band can cross into many metal sub-genres. My love of IGORRR and MR. BUNGLE made it very easy to appreciate the imagination and experimentations of ENDOLITH.It may not always be perfect, but you know it will always be cutting-edge and I will take a courageous misstep over predictability or conformity any day.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Grazing Herbivores
2. Bloodfiends
3. Nest Scrape Display
4. Rex
5. Ichthys
6. Mount Evidence
7. Diseasons
8. Kpg Impactor
9. Chicxulub
Erling Malm - Guitars, Vocals, Electronics
Roger Tunheim Jakobsen - Drums
Frode Hofsøy - Vocals
Record Label: Rob Mules Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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