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Onhou - Endling

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 23 January 2020, 9:28 PM

To make a blend between the crude aggressiveness of Black Metal with the elements of Sludge Metal (a greasy and dirty sound quality, but using slow tempos) seems to be a must to many fans. Of course that it brought new musical possibilities to Metal, but the final result of it can sound unbearable for many Metal fans. The slow paced tempos or bitter ambience can be far than many can understand. And that’s precisely the case of the Dutch quartet ONHOU with “Endling”, their first full length.

Their musical work sounds really bitter to some, as old BLACK SABBATH would play Black Metal. Yes, it really can sound as MAYHEM or DARKTHRONE (on their early Black Metal days) could go back to 1970 and record “Black Sabbath” again with some of old studio techs and conditions. Of course that the focus of the quartet is slow tempos with moldy ambiences, but it doesn’t mean that their musical work doesn’t have an appeal. It has, indeed, with a very good dose of aggressive and harsh energy. The sound quality of “Endling”, as the previous words state clearly, is moldy and crude. But it doesn’t sound fuzzy or like an incomprehensible mass of sound. It’s heavy and bitter, indeed, and the aggressiveness drips from the speakers, but always in a way that the listener can understand what they are trying to express with their songs.

The only “but” to say about the band’s musical work is that all their songs are extremely long, spending more than 10 minutes. It makes their commercial potential be low, because there aren’t legions of fanatics for such long songs. Besides that, extremely good ideas can be heard on “Dire” (a slow funeral dirge going to the graveyard, adorned with nasty guitar riffs), the rough feeling created by the distorted bass guitar on “March/Retreat” (and the drums are doing a solid work as well), and “Silence” (nasty voices and haunting keyboards parts during the slow passing of this procession into the cemetery).

ONHOU’s music has potential, but as many first albums from a band, “Endling” shows that they must evolve a bit more, but they’re on the right path.

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Dire
2. March/Retreat
3. Silence
Alex - Guitars, Vocals
Florian - Keyboards, Vocals
Henk - Bass
Arnold - Drums
Record Label: Aqualamb/Lay Bare Records


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Edited 20 September 2020

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