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The End - White Lotus

The End
White Lotus
by Daniel Fox at 07 October 2014, 10:03 AM

What in the name of all that is metal am I listening to?

THE END is a band from India that can't really be categorised; stylistically, it picks and chooses from various Black Metal offshoots, with plenty of atmospheric and ambient 'metal' from the likes of later BURZUM and ALCEST albums. I had a tough time cracking this EP open.

"Across The Ocean" was probably not the best track to break open the EP. The first minute-or-so is genuinely well-crafted ambience, a surprisingly complex melding of atmospheric sonic devices. As the instruments come into play, so do, unfortunately the clean vocals. Seemingly an attempt at ambient 'singing', most of it is a high-pitched, sometimes-out-of-key drone. I really have no idea what this is trying to accomplish, because it doesn't work. The second half of the track accesses Black Metal meanderings, with some interestingly-off-key atmospheric synth work. Other composers might call this horrid; I call it a clever and jarring juxtaposition.

The remaining tracks were much harder to engage with; I get the impression that a lot of this music is designed with background use in mind; not that the Metallic passages are anything that could be remotely considered relaxing. This album largely trumps itself on it's ambient work, whereas the Black Metal passages are the exact opposite; sudden, raw, spastic bursts that buzz their way into the graceful backdrop. The coarse vocals are hit-and-miss; oftentimes they'll do well to evoke the relevant emotions of pain, death, suffering and what have you - think LIFELOVER - but the unlistenable shrieks, found on "Drawn With A Sunshine Smile", for example, don't exactly do the music justice.

Call me ignorant or unreceptive, but I personally cannot find a reason to want to listen this music; this is unfortunate, since I believe that, in the context of the ambient arrangements, it's a work of art. However, I imagine it would go down well with fans of other bands of similar styles.

2 Star Rating

1. Across The Ocean
2. UrbaNausea (feat. B.M.)
3. White Lotus (feat. Ky)
4. Drawn With A Sunshine Smile (feat. S.T.N.)
Svartblood - All Instruments
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 16 October 2021

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