Review Summary: Six bands from around the world come together to pay homage to idie shoegaze, post-punk and black metal.
In my latest blogspotting rampage I came across a really cool split CD which featured six different bands from five different countries. Entitled, The World Comes To An End In the End Of A Journey, these six bands grouped together to pay homage to the lo fi indie genre, as well as shoegaze, post punk/rock, black metal and new wave. Ethereal Beauty, Shyy, Heretoir, Solieness, Dernier Martyr, and Dopamine have contributed two to three songs a piece on this highly intriguing collaboration which I will individually dissect.
First up is California’s Ethereal Beauty which is led by multi-instrumentalist Jordan. His two contributions include The Sun Shines Tomorrow and There’s A Grey Cloud Above Us which blend together the best of Alcest and Explosions In the Sky. Featuring plenty of melodic chords, a driving bass tone and a hint of shoe gaze, these two compact instrumentals start off the record on a promising note.
Brazil’s Shyy expands upon Ethereal Beauty by implementing elements of black metal and quicker tempos into a Amesoeurs meets Mortifera kind of style. On The White Sheet Faces The Dark, you are quickly greeted by some wailing shrieks to complement the rhythmic guitars and overlaying melodies. The song soon transitions into a clean melodic section which features some nice reverb laced clean vocals reminiscent of the early 90’s indie scene. The next song As I Fly essentially picks right where they left off only with a slower pace and more echoing vocals. There isn’t really much originality in these two songs but Shyy make up for it with some strongly composed songwriting.
Germany’s Heretoir play the same post punk/shoe gaze/black metal fusion as Shyy only with slightly muddier production and more depressive undertones. Mostly instrumental in concept, they don’t really differentiate too much stylistically from the two previous bands. Same high pitched harsh vocals, melodic guitars and marching drum beats, the band begin to wear their influences just a little too snugly.
Also from Germany, Soliness offer up similar style of music albeit with a riffier approach. But still, having some groovy guitars and rapid drums contradict itself with slower paced melodies and instrumental sections isn’t enough to make it any less boring. The formula by now has been beaten like a dead horse and the music from this band fades perfectly into the next one without me even noticing.
Out of all the bands on here, Russia’s Dernier Martyr appear to be the most inspired. Their black metal sections, consisting of heavily distorted guitars and piercing shrieks meld exceptionally well with subtle melodies without sounding forced or painstakingly dull. The song dynamics of Follow The River, 937km and Tortured By time were performed better here then some of the previous bands. Still lacking in the creativity department, Dernier Martyr prove to be a focal point for this split CD.
Given the honor of closing the album is China’s Dopamine who provide the swan song of T.W.C.T.A.E.I.T.E.O.A.J with a dynamic, nine minute mini epic. Undoubtedly my favorite song of the record, Melting opens up with some sweet guitar picking followed by some layered noodling. And it is at that point where they melt your face off with said evolution into black metal. At six bands and twelve songs through, the nostalgic homage is complete.
If I have any complaints with this record it’s that there wasn’t enough personality injected into the traditional formula. The album could basically play off as a full length record from a second class Alcest. If only a little more creativity and effort was spent during the songwriting process, this album would have been much better than it is. In itself though, The World Comes To An End In the End Of A Journey is an entertaining record that capitalizes on everything that I love about the post-punk/rock inflicted variants on black metal and shoe gaze. Some point’s go to the concept but points are also taken away for the more monotonous sections. Fans of Alcest, Explosions In the Sky, Amesouers, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mortifera should really dig this stuff. Here’s to the future!!!