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Unendlich - Paradox Of A Broken World

Paradox Of A Broken World
by Matt Bozenda at 04 July 2021, 6:43 PM

This critic has previously expounded the merits of the one-man band; centralized songwriting, streamlined musicianship, total responsibility for the product, and so on. It can be adapted to so many styles and sensibilities, no matter what genre or even what instruments you can think to use from slide guitars to chainsaws. And when it comes to Black Metal, well, there’s certainly no shortage of solo acts.

A moderate sail from the genre’s Scandinavian home to the port of Baltimore, Maryland will find one MICHAEL CONNORS, a Black Metal disciple in sole possession of the reins of UNENDLICH and its fourth full-length album, “Paradox Of A Broken World”. The name is a German word which loosely means ‘without ending’, and combined with the inherent bleakness of the genre, what is wrought here is a nigh unceasing dive into the darkness within.

Starting on a sprint with “Wisdom Of Suffering”, a fairly average bar is set, but it is a competently average bar. Following that is “Space Of Decay”, which holds up the pace and by featuring heavier keys, it tosses in just the lightest flavor of Goth. “It Consumes You” continues with the overall tempo and offers a good glimpse at the man’s guitar chops.

A certain measure of Thrash is inserted for “Into Abandonment”, which purposefully or not, conjures up its own sort of Groove, at least at first. “Inner Kill” then comes on a little too strong, like it’s trying to do too much, but it quickly gets a grip and ends well enough. After that comes “Mask Of The Adversary”, the album’s longest at just under six minutes, which actually benefits from a slackened pace and offers the most dour song ending yet, setting a tone for the album’s back half.

A more classical, soaring style of Black Metal follows for both “Being Erased” and “Culmination Of Hate”, which are also at the more sedate beat of the song before them. The speed goes up a little for “No Hope”, but the feel remains the same. Finally, the closing title track is about as cumulative as culmination tracks can get, giving the listener a little bit of everything before ending on a simple fade.

There is a definite ‘old glove’ sort of feeling to this album. The songwriting is a bit average, and so is the musicianship. There’s nothing glaringly special about it, but then, there’s also no gimmick drawing you in and letting you down. And while average, just consider what that word means to a Top-10 list of one-man Black Metal bands; when you can be compared to that sort of roster, consider it good company. UNENDLICH could stand shoulder to shoulder with the best, or at the very least, lay a great show’s foundation.

Metalheads across the board can find something to like about “Paradox Of A Broken World”, which even for its faults and averageness is still a very well put-together piece of music. It may not set any new standards but it capably and adequately fills a space. And the industry can only benefit from musicians who know what they’re doing. UNENDLICH, and by extension MICHAEL CONNORS, definitely knows what he’s doing.

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Wisdom Of Suffering
2. Space Of Decay
3. It Consumes You
4. Into Abandonment
5. Inner Kill
6. Mask Of The Adversary
7. Being Erased
8. Culmination Of Hate
9. No Hope
10. Paradox Of A Broken World
Michael Connors - guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, drum programming
Record Label: Independent


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