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Endo Feight

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

Endo Feight
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: June 21st, 2024
Genre: Black, Thrash
1. Phantom Recluse
2. Death Construction
3. Lost
4. Abyssal Echoes
5. Old Town Sinner
6. I Destroyed The Cosmos
7. In Total Allegiance
8. Macabre Embrace

Review by Vladimir on June 23, 2024.

During this year, we already had plenty of great albums in the Norwegian metal branch with bands like Coffin Storm, Khold and Darkthrone popping up to call down the thunder and make the non-believers reap the whirlwind. Another great addition to that strong unity is the band Sarke, returning with their brand new and official eight full-length album Endo Feight, released via Soulseller Records on June 21st 2024. Out of all the albums I had previously checked out and reviewed, this one was probably the one I was highly interested in, with immense expectations and excitement circling all around in my head like crazy. With that said, let's dive in and take a look at this highly anticipated Norwegian banger.

Kicking things off with the opening track 'Phantom Recluse', we get a nice glimpse of the thrillride where this rollercoaster will take us, showcasing some interesting progressive rock influenced musicianship of black/heavy metal with Nocturno Culto's signature dry harsh vocals, while throwing in some great keyboard work by Anders Hunstad which switches between a very authentic trumpet sound and kind of progressive rock/metal style of sound. Aside from the primarily blackened heavy metal style which Sarke is known for, the riff work on the album is very rock and roll driven, with plenty of moments that lean towards a more Rush-like style, which is very noticeable on the second track 'Death Construction', but you also get some psychedelic rock moments with a sort of Pink Floyd style to it on songs like 'Lost', 'Abyssal Echoes' and 'I Destroyed The Cosmos'. Just in case you were looking for some evil and wicked mid-tempo rock and roll, with a bit of skank beat drumming and good old Norwegian black metal, altogether filled with mystery and atmosphere, don't worry, because you will get all of that in the fifth track 'Old Town Sinner', which kicks absolute ass with all that things it throws at you, bringing you down to the ground like an prolific undertaker. In case this wasn't enough for you, and you just happen to be looking for some doom and gloom on this album, that's where tracks 'I Destroyed The Cosmos' and 'Macabre Embrace' come in by showcasing doom metal elements with such wrath that it disrupts the balance of the universe with their pure heaviness and darkness that flows throughout. Don't worry, you will also get more Norwegian black metal elements on 'In Total Allegiance', in case you felt like you were missing that, but it's got more punch to it this time than ever before. Everything on Endo Feight is so incredibly interesting from the very get-go, but the more the album progresses, the more entertaining it gets, while also managing to successfully engage the listener in this unusual and transcendental experience. On top of their amazing riff and dynamic keyboard work, they throw in a lot other bits like acoustic guitar, clean guitar chords and tremolo bars, David Guilmore type guitar solos, and with all the stuff that you get it's impossible to not feel entertained or moved by the excellent musicianship of the band. The general flow of the album is very strong and constant from start to finish, but once it comes to the conclusion with the final track 'Macabre Embrace', ending on sounds of church bell chiming and rainfall, it brings down the curtains to this hellish stage play.

Sarke did a fantastic job by giving us such dynamic songwriting with various ideas coming from all angles, which were wonderfully mixed in like a nice refreshing cocktail. Considering how everything is so onpoint and tight from beginning to end, it's no wonder I listened to this album three times in a row just to make sure I didn't miss any other nice details that they put in their music, but I think that's the real magic of it, the fact that it's got such a nice comeback factor to it that it makes you want to repeat the whole thing without ever losing interest. Everything on this album is so nicely arranged and layered, presenting an incredibly wonderful mastercraft that brings out the best of every band member, with everyone contributing a piece of themselves without wasting time or energy. Endo Feight really is a "Death Construction" in itself, because you can clearly hear from which background everyone in the band comes from, while also giving a bit of everything that everyone can like about it, without staying strictly inside a safezone of template based songwriting or being trapped in the realm of mediocrity and generic musicality. There is no denying that this is a surprisingly ambitious work which stands out in its own right for a multitude of reasons, by successfully expanding their work and broadening the horizon for Sarke. The biggest highlight of this album is the fact that it keeps the attention constant and makes the suspense everlasting, by having the listeners be on the edge of their seats curious to what will come next and how further this journey goes. There is a great human factor to the album itself, and it maintains the musical tension throughout the entire thing apart from the established black metal elements, it's pretty much like an Alfred Hitchcock or Roman Polanski film direction in a musical sense. Honestly though, is there really anything I don't like about this album? It would very hard to go that deep to find any fatal flaw, but I guess that the only thing that I didn't like about Endo Feight was the fact that it wasn't longer, because it's almost 37 minutes long with a total of 8 tracks, and once it ends it really kind of leaves me on a position where I am craving for more, while also being so satisfied to the point that I just decide to repeat the whole thing. I guess it's not a flaw at all, but I guess that it's just a matter of me being so invested into this album until I suddenly realize that I am near the end, which is like a pure psychological effect that it had on me. On the last note, the production/mixing by Lars-Erik Westby and mastering by Sofia von Hage is so top-notch that it gives a wonderful clean and organic sound to it, maintaining the rawness and the aggression without feeling too thin or too pristine.

In the end, what is there to say about this album that hasn't already been said? It's a brilliant album that is a real deal of progressive and experimental sort of black/heavy metal, with a rock and roll type of energy and an Iron Fist. And here I thought that things couldn't possibly get any better with the previously released albums such as Arcana Rising, Du Dømmes Til Død and It Beckons Us All which came out before, but then comes in Endo Feight to prove me wrong and then leave me without words, almost like a mushroom induced experience that made me feel so pleased and relieved. There was always a sense of simplicity and originality about the music of Sarke, but this album really takes it to a whole new level with its unique approach and rich musicianship. All I can say is, congratulations to these experienced Norwegian metal veterans that keep on delivering the goods, because the final result of this one really got everything right, checking all the marks and leaving no cross unturned.

Rating: 9 ou of 10