A Doom Rock and Metal avalanche currently thunders into this valley of woe where the fans dwell. It is big, scary and heavy on tears and sorrow. RockmusicRaider covered a score of them bands over time: Traditional outfits like My Dying Bride or again Vanha kind of hold the fort. Then you have the youngsters like Khemmis traipsing all over the hallowed established grounds of Doom Metal.
Then again you will find these sort of crossover bands that have enough doom in them to be called that, yet sit astride a score of other styles. The German band End of Green is one of those. It would mostly qualify as a mix of Dark Rock and Metal, yet they venture a lot onto the doomish territory other bands already occupy. Their ninth full length album Void Estate gets you a pretty crafty medley of Gothic, Doom and some Alternative, even a taste of Americana. All of that delivered in a mid-tempo torrent of changing tones of rock and metal.
They’ve got a lot of latter day Tiamat, Type O Negative and a whiff of Lacrimas Profundere. Albeit the latter is much less present than on their last album Painstream. And some very dark Gothic Pop Rock undercurrents seemingly coming straight out of dark places of Gothic cvlt, where poppy bands like Blutengel dwell. Dark clad folks of the gloomy constitution will revel in this type of tune, I declare. But End of Green has enough of mainstream in them to please to a larger crowd too. However, this is nothing for those wanting to enjoy a day in the sun. It is more rain, storm and racing clouds in them tracks on Void Estate.
I really like the band’s no-nonsense, somewhat parsimonious approach to rock and metal. No theatrics, no complicated symphonic elements, no bullshitting on this record. For End of Green it is dark, painful emotions, coming straight at you like the friggin’ cavalry on horses of doom. And the proof of the pudding starts right at the beginning with Send in the Clowns. Wham it goes, no silly intro to prepare. It is a straight injection of emotion right from the beginning. Or Dark Side of the Sun, which is almost painful to hear.
And they do this right. Speaking about emotion, RockmusicRaider just covered the Doom metallers Et Moriemur who – funny enough – demonstrate all the trappings of their trade, yet somehow fail to strike that chord. So, here you go: It is possible to project genuine emotion without stumbling all over yourself.
The record sports some pretty catchy chorus lines and melodies too. Like on Head Down, which definitely oozes desperation and despair, whilst keeping your attention. Or then again, End of Green ably injected a pretty good flow in certain parts of the album. Like between The Unseen and Dressed in Black Again. All of this leads to an allure on that album that you would not expect from a somewhat restrained production like that one.
You will also find some unexpected jewels. I am often vary of covers in a new album, as those often lead to failure. In addition we are looking for new material not rehashing old crap all over again. However, the Calvin Russell cover Crossroads is exceedingly well done and lends itself perfectly to the overall atmosphere of Void Estate. Besides, I love the song, it really talks to the tortured soul, doesn’t it?
This also speaks towards their marked ability to write consistent, well structured tracks. Yet all this somewhat stays on the well-travelled vellum pieces of traditional song-writing. But this bears dangers too. The track list loses steam towards the last third with some filler material somehow getting in the way. The lyrics also become prone to some bombast in some places, which is a pity.
To conclude, Void Estate extends a strange pull to the listener. End of Green project a mix of bare bones rock and metal, no-nonsense lyrics and savvy, yet frugal song-writing. The end result is a thoughtful album that is sometimes almost painful to listen to with all the genuine emotion. So, is it proper doom? Not quite, but it sometimes sure feels that way. Good stuff.
Void Estate will air by mid August 2017. Enjoy!