Review Summary: Treading the path most known
Endsight piqued my interest when their track "The Dive" surfaced. A delightfully atmospheric cut of metalcore-infused melodeath, it gave me hope that the rest of their newest album A Vicious Circle
would be more of the same. And it is, but not in the way I expected. A Vicious Circle
boasts a stringently structured sound throughout that can easily and most correctly be referred to as "more of the same" indeed, but contrary to my original hopes that can not be taken as a compliment. "The Dive" is regrettably by far the best track on here and the only one that deviates from the album’s unexciting, rudimentary skeleton. The short, curiously mechanical intro on the first track "The Final Sunlight" gives an impression that something really cool-sounding is about to unfold, but quickly enough the song settles into a conventional melodeath formula which is disappointingly the norm for the rest of the record as well. The sounds on offer can actually be quite pleasant at times, but predictable songwriting, At The Gates-worship riffs, and a distinct lack of really anything to set Endsight apart from the hundreds of bands performing this style of music make A Vicious Circle
a less than enticing listen. We’ve heard this record tens, probably hundreds of times before, it just had a different name on it. That’s not to say A Vicious Circle
is a giant waste of time, though. For those into the style in question the album is bound to be at least slightly rewarding. After all, it’s decently played and sounds almost like a collection of At The Gates b-sides, just with far less personality. It also doesn’t overstay its welcome, respectably clocking in around the 35 minute mark, meaning that even though it sounds way too familiar, A Vicious Circle
is at least concise and to the point. Still, it’s impossible to get around the fact that the album provides us with nothing worth noticing.
Endsight's sophomore effort isn’t bad. Instead, it is just another album in a genre where following existing models to a T rarely yields success due to the overabundance of same-sounding material. There’s really nothing fresh or exciting about the record, but it doesn’t display qualities associated with bad albums either (both the vocals and instrumentation are solid, if absolutely underwhelming). Passable is the adjective made precisely for works like this one – works that don’t scrape the ear, but have no real gripping power either. A Vicious Circle
is that painting at the exhibition that you pass by without looking back at, and sometimes that’s even worse than blatant awfulness. Collectively loathed works of art are at least interesting in their absolute failure. Often surrounded by excitement, they manage to garner attention and can be the story of the day/week/month. Mediocrity though, now that’s a sad, lonely state no artist wants to find himself in.