Review Summary: Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if a former Victory Records metalcore act took a page out of the book of a band like...say...Converge?
You may remember Endwell as the terribly average group of musicians that released 2006's Homeland Insecurity. Then again, you may not remember Endwell at all. For those of you that fit under the first category, I strongly suggest you do everything in your power to forget Homeland Insecurity, as this is not the same group of musicians that released that album.
Homeland Insecurity was a terribly mediocre album, released by a terribly mediocre Victory Records metalcore band. The album contained underwhelming instrumentation on all fronts, inaudible bass, melodic choruses, breakdowns, and so on so forth. What set the album apart from the rest was the simple fact that Endwell was terrible at being a metalcore band. Endwell themselves even stated that they were forced into their sound (surprisingly) by the label, and given a set amount of time in which they had to write their entire album. Since that time, Endwell has left Victory and singed with Mediaskare, and in doing so they have found the sound that fits them, and are now writing the music they want to write.
The new sound displayed on Revenge Is A Healthy Motive is almost like a more melodic version of Converge with mainstream metalcore tendencies. The melodic choruses, breakdowns, halfhearted guitar leads, and even the melodic vocals have all been thrown out the window in favor of surprisingly interesting riffs, pummeling drums, sound bass work, and roaring vocals. The vocalist more or less possesses the same tone as many other hardcore vocalists, but he does hit a few higher pitched screams that you wouldn't normally find in the genre. The guitars provide a very dense and dissonant atmosphere, without stealing the spotlight, and the bass is surprisingly audible, though sadly not as technically sound as the rest of the instruments. However, even though the band has made huge strides and improvements, they songs still have their share of flaws.
Two of the songs here, Sympathy For All Sufferers and Jumping The Shark, are around four minutes in length. The problem with the length of those two songs is simple, they are just unrelentingly heavy and after four minutes it just becomes a bit tedious. The songs are great for the first couple of minutes, but they really just start to drag after about three minutes or so. However, when the band sticks to the normal, shorter, hardcore format, it works really well. The best example of the revamped sound would be Mike Tyson. The song clocks in at just under 2 minutes, and the Converge influences are very strong, displaying cutting guitar work, angular drumming, and roaring vocals. Even though the Converge influences get very strong at times, they manage to pull it off without seeming like they are merely copying their contemporaries. Glaciers and Revenge Is A Healthy Motive also display the same sort of influences, though to a slightly lesser degree, and the band injects the hardcore tone with slightly melodic metalcore feel.
All in all, Endwell has shown that, when given the freedom to do so, they have the ability to write really enjoyable heavy music. This is, however, just an EP, so you can't really draw a full conclusion on the direction the band is going in at this point. However, if this is any indication of what the full length will be like, Endwell will definitely be a band to look out for in the near future.