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Endure The Affliction - Evolve

Endure The Affliction
by Paul LaPlaca at 02 December 2021, 3:41 AM

I suppose you have to “ENDURE THE AFFLICTION” if you are “Down With The Sickness”, but this band leans more towards COHEED AND CAMBRIA than DISTURBED or modern metalcore acts. In general, anything, “-core” to me just reeks of insincerity and the vibe that everything is just a pose from the overblown screaming hysterics to the syrupy, youthful, clean vocals in the choruses. I know that’s a broad generalization of an entire genre but that makes it even more impressive that this Louisiana band rises above the stereotypes. The main foundational aspect of this style is the standard see-saw, push and pull of aggressive, extreme vocals on the verses balanced with clean singing on the choruses. What puts me off about most of these bands is that the aggro dudes come across as such overcompensating douchebags their lyrics might as well be, “I HAVE A SMALL DIIIIICK!!!” and the clean singers are just big, wet, whiney cunts. “ENDURE THE AFFLICTION” surprisingly does not fall into these categorizations.

Vocalist TIM KEITH delivers a forceful roar that immediately hits you in the heart and the head. There is no macho, gorilla chest-thumping here, just straightforward metal rage. Co-lead vocalist, DEION LANTHIER provides the perfect foil with a clean singing style devoid of all the vomit-inducing affectations of the GOOD CHARLOTTE crowd and others of their ilk who insist on saying, “MAY” instead of “ME”. The pop-influenced, hook-driven sound of “Evolve” in the chorus sections is subtle and owes more to something like BAD RELIGION than FFDP. There’s a subtlety to the writing and production that brings an infectious hook to light without overdoing it with the huge, layered, autotuned, wall-of-crybaby bullshit that is so pervasive in modern cookie-cutter, pop-metal. The guitar riffs and melodies are angular and defy expectations, taking stylistic hard turns and forcing blends of major tonalities with dissonant skronk that just hammer round pegs into square holes. As much as I like this, it concerns me that the things I am praising may be what holds them back from mainstream success. They are almost too smart for the room.

“Anodyne” bursts out of the speakers as the first track, an almost MESHUGGAH type of approach with thick vocals and machine-gun spitting guitar and drum patterns. The break-neck speed has the floor drop out on the headbanging pre-chorus, only to be hit with an extremely poppy chorus. It’s a little multiple personality disorder but it reads true across all changes and not for a minute do I feel like these guys are just doing it for the effect, it feels legit. And if that’s not enough, after the 2nd chorus, they do a spoken word over clean guitars that could have been lifted from QUEENSRYCHE’S, “EMPIRE”. “Devil In The Sky” continues on in a similar fashion, running you through a blender of different styles and textures starting with a TOOL-inspired bass intro before speeding through moshable grooves and proggy guitar melodies and harmonies.

The rest of the album does not disappoint either, outside of an ill-advised rap section in the middle of “The Reckoning” that puts the band dangerously close to P.O.D.  or God forbid, LINKIN PARK. Overall, a very well-written album with a huge variety of sounds and styles blended together almost seamlessly with excellent production. For metal fans with guilty pleasures off mall-core nonsense or young newbies looking to cross the bridge from whiney rock to something more substantial.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Anodyne
2. Devil In the Sky
3. Identity
4. The Fall
5. The Reckoning
6. 2-0-2-0
Tim Keith - Vocals
Deion Lanthier - Co-Lead Vocals, Guitar
Bret Dronet - Guitar
Byron Vomer - Bass, Backing Vocals
Kyle Roberts - Drums & Percussion, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 16 January 2022

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