There’s simply thousands and thousands of bands out there that are trying to keep the flame of old school black metal alive, while many others are taking the style down bold new paths every single day. And like every other kind of music, black metal continues to have small bands with massive loads of potential go unnoticed in the public eye for the most part. One excellent band that stands out amongst the rest is Ende who for years now has been dishing out their own personalized style of black metal that works too fucking well, and still respects the original flame all the way home. Many others have flown under the radar for years just like Ende, but it’s this duo that truly stands above the rest, and if that fact is ever going to become apparent then it’s with their brand new album of “Emën Etan”.
These Frenchmen have been going at the black metal grinding wheel for literal years, with their humble start back in 2012 with “Whispers of a Dying Earth” that showed their arrival to the world, but it’s with their sophomore album of “The Rebirth of I” that Ende truly showed what they were capable of. Talk about going from zero to one thousand moving from one record to the next because everything Ende did everything that they could have right with “The Rebirth of I” down to the band’s logo itself. It was decisively atmospheric, had fuck tons of power amongst its spine-tingling riffs, awesome power, and black metal prowess that it’s simply stunning to give the record a spin. But then after hearing such excellence for months on end, a question appears: can Ende do it again? They showed with a follow-up split with Sorcier des Glaces the following year titled “Le Puits des Morts” that they can indeed keep the quality going, but what’s to tell for a full-length? It’d be another few months before we’d receive any sort of announcement from Ende, but when we did we were given “Emën Etan”.
To call this third full-length from these Frenchmen a worthy successor to “The Rebirth of I” would be an amazing understatement in every single way. Does “Emën Etan” top everything that Ende has before it? Maybe. The first thing I noticed with this record was how there were significantly fewer riffs than before, yet Ende did not cheap out in the overall quality of the ten tracks we get here. Every single song from the calm yet menacing interludes to the all out black metal onslaught that we get the rest of the time is so finely crafted with nothing but utmost care to when you hear “Emën Etan” a few times it’s not hard to consider this Ende’s magnum opus so far in their relatively short career. Yet, somehow, everything feels so much more powerful and aggressive with this record. Ende uses clips of chanting in churches that slowly transition to the sound of a woman burning at the stake to straight up smashing your skull with the vocals that feel more violent, guitars and bass that are still melodic but feel much more hyper, and a drum beat that’s simply immaculate. There’s so much to love with “Emën Etan” as it feels like the perfect embodiment of modern black metal that’s been constantly looking at the great black metal acts of the past for inspiration, and out of that has come releases that has led up to this ultimate example of what black metal can become in today’s world of progressive thinking and innovation. It’s rare to see a band like Ende incorporate so many things that are great from the genre from its intensity to even atmospheric elements, and all of that is balanced so perfectly in “Emën Etan” that it’s nothing short of astounding.
If there is any fan out there in the entire world that enjoys black metal even a little bit and doesn’t investigate “Emën Etan” upon its release, then that’s the very definition of a mistake. Ende has been pumping out top notch material for years now and they’ve no signs of slowing down yet. With time comes experience and with experience comes skill. That absolutely rings true with this Frenchmen as they’ve done nothing but astound and amaze with just about every single album they’ve put out, and “Emën Etan” maybe just be the epitome of what Ende can do. There are so much talent and skill in this band that it’s palpable, and I cannot help but say that if you want an intense black metal experience that very few others can replicate nowadays then you are absolutely going to want to discover Ende. And should you want to hear what’s already one of my absolute favorites of this year, then mark your calendars for March 1st and experience “Emën Etan” as quickly as you can!
We here at Transcending Obscurity are more than proud to present to you all an exclusive premiere of the full version of “Emën Etan”! An immense thank you to Ende who felt comfortable with entrusting us with such an extreme honor! A listing of all the songs can be found right below, and a private YouTube link to the album can be seen below. Don’t waste any time and check out what’s a landmark album for underground black metal! Enjoy over 50 minutes of scathing intensity that few can replicate!
- Among the Graves
- When Crows Flew Over Marhn
- Das Hexenhaus
- The Black Hen’s Blood
- Insidious Portrait
- Emën Etan
- The Witch’s Fire
- Under a Carpathian Yoke (Vlad Tepes cover)