Reviewed: December, 2020
Released: 2020, Mallevs Records
Reviewer: Svetlana Likhacheva
Just one year after their debut full-length album, French black metal band End of Mankind is releasing their second record. With the new line-up and under the sign of Mallevs Records, they prepared a dark and intimidating story.
The first track, 1957, is a soft and beautiful intro to the record. The instrumentals sound light and ethereal, but at the same time they don’t spread a feeling of harmony, and instead bring the unsettling feeling of anxiety. The sound embraces the gentle voice of Anxiferath, and this hypnotizing monologue only increases the feeling of implicit threat. This song is like a bad omen, and the chaos steps in with the second track – Temporary Flesh Suit, which grabs the listener and plunges them into madness.
The emotional loop awaits in the middle of the album, because the fifth song, Géhenne, is short and noticeably different with its instrumentals, vocals and the vibe in general, just like the intro track. What’s more, Géhenne is even more calm and melodic than 1957. So all the harder slaps Golgotha – the climax of the cataclysm, where the level of menacing energy gets completely insane and the desperate feeling of inevitable catastrophe reaches a peak.
The following songs continue the motive of the agonizing death with the same power and sullen vibe of agonizing destruction. The instrumental part seems to be pretty interesting and fresh for me because the rhythms are good, and what is more, the band adds elements of other musical styles in their melodies pretty often. That helps to keep the tracks feel fresh and more musically interesting, not too overburdened with brutal heaviness – without those tricks album would be too hard to listen or even boring. To me, the main message was slightly weaker than the band probably wanted it to be, but the light sound helps with this.
The ending song has become my personal favourite – it’s following the agonizing line, but in a harmonized way. The suffering, which we were going through within the album, steps back in the face of the harmony. The song gives a very good “it’s finally over” vibe – not about the album but about the bloody and painful journey that the listener just finished – though, it feels like a great track even outside of the context of the “closing song” of the record.