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Halls of Oblivion - Endtime Poetry Award winner

Halls of Oblivion
Endtime Poetry
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 25 June 2019, 5:41 AM

HALLS OF OBLIVION are a German Melodic Death Metal band; “Endtime Poetry” is their first full length.  They previously released an EP in 2015. Their sound is of a darker sort than a lot of other Melodic Death bands.  The melodies are there but they are drenched in emotion as thick as the most torrential of rain.  Their overall atmosphere is one of hope turning to lost and forgiving not yet forthcoming.  Their overall sound includes aspects of Doom and Black Metal as well.  However, what I found the most refreshing is, they include a lot of clean passages like early DARK TRANQUILLITY and IN FLAMES.  These moments of melodic bliss are a continued stark monolith brushing up against the clouds, but they still managed to separate themselves enough from the rest of the music.  The result is a Melo Death band that is heavier and darker than their bretheren yet also with a very dynamic sound.

Marcel Welte weaves his melodic leads and riffs in and out of the songs like it is the most natural, smoothest flowing river in the world.  Fellow guitarist and vocalist Sebastian Ruff is a clever player as well and it is a testament to his abilities to be able to growl and scream his ass off while playing some of the more intricate parts. Markus Kristen and Markus Weber keep the entire foundation as dense as possible with the bass and drums, respectively.  Even when things get very melodic, these two are always there to remind us that the light always needs the darkness to thrive.

The opening track is tragically beautiful with clean keys and guitar weaving a tale of woe.  The drums speed up and the track goes wild, setting up the reset of the song which turns out is a decent overview of the album’s sound, but I don’t find it to be the best track.  One of the biggest talking points is the album gets better as it goes along, and it starts strong anyway.  The middle portion of the album doesn’t suffer from any lumps and bumps but rather a very strong backbone that the rest set upon.

The Servant,” opens with eerie chants and guitar that starts out clean but is quickly backed up by the rest of the band while it grows into a nice melody line before the drums kick off the riffs.  The vocals are as much Blackened as they are Death and it gives the band a very raw edge.  This is good because the album has a very loud production…a bit too loud.  The drum’s bass and the lead guitar often times over power every one else in the band especially the bass guitar.

Still, the production lets up during the clean parts like the one halfway thru “The Servant.”  I absolutely loved the part where the screams break through the melodies—very chilling, very effective and thought provoking. The next track, “A Poem Of The End,” opens with catchy and splashy guitar leads.  The vocal rhythm and drums work in tandem to add an epic and rather catchy track that switches back and forth between dark and light without skipping a beat.   The ending of the song is hugely impressive, with a nice Doom riff moving alongside the escalating guitar leads and atmospheric drumming.

A few of the songs are a bit too long for their own good, overstaying their welcome by a minute or so but there are always a few hooks in each song that grab you. “Endtime Poetry” isn’t an album that isn’t afraid to get fast and hard, either.   The final track, “The Hypocrite,” is wrapped up in a blanket of Black Metal darkness with a lot of faster tempo riffs and drumming.   For such a young band, they are already hugely impressive.  Melodic Death has seen a resurgence in the last couple of years, especially with the bands that can blend the lighter approach with darker themes. There have been several really great MeloDeath albums this year and HALLS OF OBLIVION’s “Endtime Poetry” is another one to add to the group.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Vanishing Woods
2. Under The Weeping Willow
3. Last Glance Of The Sunday
4. The Servant
5. A Poem Of The End
6. Walking Dead
7. The Final Regret
8. A World Falling Apart
9. The Hypocrite
Lineup:
Sebastian Ruf – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Marcel Welte – Lead Guitar
Markus Kristen – Bass
Markus Weber – Drums
Record Label: Metalapolis Records
     


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