CD review ENDSEEKER ‘Mount Carcass’

It’s not that 2021 lacks good death metal releases, thinking about the newest The Crown album and the latest longplayer of UK death metal machine Memoriam. Here comes a next candidate for your shopping list, this time from the beautiful city of Hamburg.

It feels like Endseeker being in business already since a long time and they are for sure an established act when it comes to death metal hailing from Germany. Starting with an EP in 2015, the quintet could quickly enlarge the fanbase through well-done longplayers of which two have been released over the last years. ‘The Harvest’, the sophomore album, has been revealed in 2019 and without having huge touring opportunities, the guys decided to work on new songs instead.

Nine of them made it on ‘Mount Carcass’, the third strike from the Hamburg-based death metal powerhouse. On the one hand, the new longplayer feels like a continuation of the Endseeker’s trademarks, being rooted in Swedish death metal. That’s the base and it’s an evolvement of their sound that makes ‘Mount Carcass’ to a big next step for the quintet. This time elements of bands like Morbid Angel sneaked into some of the songs and also some Gorefest- and Bolt Thrower-inspired parts enrich the album.

The songs on the new record are boiled down to the basics which gives the album a sort of anarchic vibe. All the unnecessary gimmicks have been removed and what stays is the pure energy that’s been manifest in songs like the thundering ‘Bloodline’ and hard-hitting ‘Count the Dead’. Besides the reduction to the basics, ‘Mount Carcass’ also includes a more melodic aspect than what we got to hear on ‘The Harvest’. Especially the guitar lines offer some well-placed hooks and it’s the spirit of rock’n’roll that shimmers in the back more than once. This helps the flow of the album a lot and helps the listener to get into ‘Mount Carcass’ easier.

Lyrically, the band doesn’t only focus on genre-typical splatter lyrics like on ‘Unholy Rites’. The title track for example addresses the topic of an overcrowded route to the top of Mount Everest and the parallels to our current society. Last but not least, ‘animal’-songs are often a part of an Endseeker album and this time it’s e.g. the unbelievable story of Pablo Eskobear that is told in ‘Frantic Redemption’.

Endseeker had always covers on their previous longplayers and the new record doesn’t break the pattern. Was it genre-related bands like Entombed, Bolt Thrower and Megadeth that have been covered on the previous longplayers, it’s a rather iconic tune that was newly staged by the guys from Hamburg. First thing is, it’s an instrumental. Second thing is, it’s the iconic main-theme from John Carpenters ‘Escape from New York’ movie, that went through a re-arrangement by Endseeker. Guitarist Ben Liepelt had this idea in mind for a long time and now it was the right moment to turn fantasy into reality. It’s quite a challenge to pick such a song for a cover and what Endseeker present is impressive. The way how the keyboard intro is translated and the how this musical icon is morphed into an Endseeker interpretation without losing the original context impresses and shows the potential of the band in excellent fashion.

History tells the myth, that the third longplayer is always a decisive one when it comes to the future direction of a band. Will things go South or will it be the road to success? In Endseeker’s case the only relevant conclusion is, that we will hear much more of these guys from Hamburg in the future. The quintet sharpens their sound with every release. The base is the Swedish roots of death metal and the guys add more and more their own identity to songs which will strengthen their position in German- and European death metal. Horns up.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Unholy Rites
  2. Merciless Tide
  3. Bloodline
  4. Mount Carcass
  5. Count the Dead
  6. Cult
  7. Moribund
  8. Frantic Redemption
  9. Escape From New York

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: April 16th, 2021

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