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Endura - Black Eden (9,5/10) - USA - 1996

Genre: Dark Ambient
Label: Red Stream
Playing time: 48:38
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Satanas Ex Machina
  2. The Left Hand Of The Dead
  3. The Devil's Stars Burn Cold
  4. When God Was A Snake
  5. The Sun No Longer Sets Me Free
  6. A Golden Heresy
Endura - Black Eden
Proceed with extreme caution, ye Metalhead! ENDURA is not for the faint of heart! But if you'd always wanted a soundtrack to all of those H.P. Lovecraft-short stories you're always reading, then look no further! Within the six long tracks of "Black Eden", you will find some of the most dark, disturbing music you're liable to ever find, and this just goes to show that Red Stream Records is THE place to get your "music for a rainy day" from. There is no more befitting an album than this for such occasions.

With song-titles like "Satanas Ex Machina" and "The Devil's Stars Burn Cold", you might be inclined to say that this is a Black Metal-album, having never heard the music. But once you get a few minutes into "Satanas..." you know, this is SERIOUSLY disturbing stuff. It begins with some hard-to-describe sounds, like people walking around in a medieval dungeon, perhaps an "antediluvian" realm of the Lovecraftian design. Within a few minutes, it morphs into a strange, repetitive and utterly hypnotic synthesized melody with lots of sound layerings. Each song thereafter is equally mindblowing, but like such obscure acts as SKEPTICISM and ROBERT RICH, this takes a lot of will on the listener's part to appreciate. If you ARE willing, this music will take you on a long, meaningful journey to some very strange but REAL places.

"The Devil's Stars Burn Cold" is the first "proper song" you might say, and it is simply breathtaking! One can't deny the beauty of such dark keyboard melodies and simple, repetitive musical phrases. The only discernable "lyrics" on the whole album are said here, but are "muttered" in a dry, dark tone of voice (undoubtedly by one of Hell's disciples - WES! SHOW YOURSELF!) where the song's title is spoken, and they place a cleverly disturbing echo effect on the voice that simply must be heard to be believed. The song fades and segues into "When God Was A Snake", which utilizes some extremely complex conga-drum rhythms, interlaced around one another. If you listen with headphones (a MUST for this album) you can hear that the main rhythm is being played in one channel, and in the other channel, the same rhythm is being played at about 1/3 the speed. This creates a very interesting echo on the drums, as a whirlwind of synth sounds and vocal effects set the tone of the song and give it some identity.

The album ends with "A Golden Heresy", which could be used in just about any medieval movie-soundtrack involving torture or war. By far the best song on the album, with tympani drums and ominous synthesizer tones used once again (of course, NOT in the cheesy tone that MORTIIS uses). You will find yourself, by album's end, in a completely transformed state of mind than before you pressed the "play" button. I recommend this as one of those "day-enders" for sure, to be listened to in a dark room, with maybe one small candle lit, and through headphones (sacrificial goats and virgins optional). Enthralling beyond description, but definitely not for everybody...

Gabriel Gose



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