Released: 2003, The End Records
Over the last five years or so, The End Records has firmly established itself as one of the premier metal/dark music labels in the business, putting out some of the best music on a regular basis. In addition to this, the label also provides on of the finest distribution/mail order services in metal. PHASES is an overview of some of the bands signed to The End, and a overall fantastic overview of the music that this label offers.
Agalloch. You know them, you love them. It is so easy to get lost in their folk melodies and tree-lined riffs. This is essential.
Nightingale. Dan Swano’s solo project continues on and on, providing some of the most interesting 70s-influenced prog metal ever. “Shadowman” is no exception. This is essential.
Enslaved. The height of progressive black metal, enough said.
Darkthrone. Still going strong after all these years, Darkthrone is the ultimate black metal AC/DC. You know what you’re going to get with every release. Historically important and still musically viable.
The Pretty Good:
Epoch of Unlight. Vicious North American black metal with extremely memorable riffs. This close to being essential. Definitely one to check out.
Antimatter. Intriguing ambient music from an ex-Anathema member. Not overly fantastic or anything, but definitely a good quiet listen.
Star of Ash. Very interesting dark metal that would fit in as a heavier, less-techno influenced Theater of Tragedy. Vocalist is Heidi S. Tveitan, otherwise known as Ihriel, wife of Ihsan.
Sculptured. Weird and wonderful dark progressive metal. Interesting without being self-important.
Virgin Black. Heavy, depressive, and draped in thick gothic tapestries, this is some of the best suicide-metal out there today.
In the Woods. A fairly boring band overall, but the heavy progressive evil of “Heart of the Ages” is still great. See a review of their live album in this month’s reviews.
The Gathering. Once great band has degenerated into useless ambiance. Farewell.
Ulver. Once essential black metal pioneers have gotten lost in the Casio City.
Madder Mortem. Rote goth-metal with atrocious female vocals.
Frantic Bleep. Random progressive black metal. Sounds like an even more annoying Solefald.
Scholomance. To be fair I don’t know what this band really sounds like as the song included here is little more than an outro.
1)The Gathering – Broken Glass
2)Antimatter – The Art of a Soft Landing
3)Ulver - Vowels
4)Agalloch – A Fragment
5)Star of Ash – Death Salutes Atropos
6)Sculptured - Susperia
7)Virgin Black – And the Kiss of God’s Mouth
8)Nightingale - Shadowman
9)Madder Mortem – Jigsaw
10)In the Woods – Heart of the Ages (live)
11)Enslaved – Queen of Night
12)Frantic Bleep – Fluctuadmission
13)Darkthrone – Divided we Stand
14)Epoch of Unlight – Caught in the Unlight
15)Scholomance – Goodbye Song