Full Album Stream - Endstille

Welcome German Aggression

posted on 11/2013   By: Dan Obstkrieg

One could make the argument that the most important sound on any album is the very first sound the listener hears. Bands can use this to do all sorts of interesting things: a simple drumstick count-off; a dramatic instrumental intro track that evokes majestic imagery; or perhaps a lilting acoustic guitar that hints at sensitivity amidst the bombast to come. Endstille is not a band with much use for such subtlety. From note one of the prolific German black metal band's new album, Kapitulation 2013, you know precisely what you're getting: acid-lashing vocals, a blitz of blastbeats, and furrowed-brow tremolo riffing. There's no build, no uncertainty, no mercy: it's everything all at once, forever.

I wasn't overwhelmingly fond of the band's last album, 2011's Infektion 1813. Despite the fact that the band's scorched-earth approach to black metal hasn't changed much since then, Kapitulation 2013 strikes me as more accomplished. It's that perplexing condition: more of the same, but better. Adding a second guitarist has certainly helped, but the biggest difference is that the album is more diverse, and has a more natural flow.

Individual songs have more character, and Zingultus's (formerly of Nagelfar) vocal performance is a real treat for sore ears, raging and rambling and muttering and even mugging a bit of Abbath/Dagon robo-gospel in "The Refined Nation." The unfettered, militaristic aggression of the album's first half culminates in a wide-smiling cover of Sodom's classic "Blasphemer," but then the album shifts--albeit slightly--to a more reflective mode, with the melancholic tinge of "Monotonus 2013" and "Nostalgia."

Late-album highlight "KDF 511" shares an evocative kinship with the similarly war-focused Vreid, before the album closes (as always) with a partially self-titled song, this time called "Endstille (Abschied)." Abschied is the German word for "farewell," and the song features a spoken-word recitation of what sounds like a letter written by a German soldier, reflecting on the horrors of the frontline as he pines for what he may never know again: "I long to be back at home with you in Germany. I love you with all of my heart."

It's a surprisingly affecting touch, and proves that, hell, maybe Endstille's got a bit more subtlety in them than we thought. Listen to the full album via the Soundcloud player above, and let us know if these blasters have exploded any mortars in your heart.


Kapitulation 2013 is out in the U.S. on November 12th (and November 8th in Europe) via Season of Mist, but you can order your copy now via this link.

TAGGED Black,Season of Mist