End Reign - End Reign
England must be a very dark and depressing place to call home. In the case of Durham metallic hardcore band End Reign, I say this with both equally love and respect. In the eyes of this reviewer, the island across the pond comes off as both cold, barren and downtrodden; after all, this small little country has been the hub of both western civilization and Europe for the greater part of several centuries, it’s no wonder that the country would be steeped in turmoil. But generalizations aside, the music that comes out of the island seems to reflect just that sentiment. From the top of my head, bands like More Than Life, Dead Swans, Brutality Will Prevail, Kerouac, hell, even Gold Kids all reflect a feeling of loss and neglect. What I’m getting at is End Reign is yet another band that reflects the darkness that seems so prevalent in their home country.
A small time band, End Reign possesses many things that set themselves apart from their contemporaries. Their debut self-titled
7” is a blistering four tracks of equal dread and furiously pounding riffs that hammer the listener from all angles. Opening track ‘The Horror’ leaves no time to prepare the ears for its onslaught, following a fairly simple chord progression akin to acts like The Banner and Rise And Fall, speeding up the tempo occasionally with well-placed alternate drumming and added guitar leads to further increase the depth of the track. In a sense, the entire listen of End Reign
takes the angle of executioner, never giving any respite or time to recover, as each lull in the tempo is only to increase the already heightened sense of anger felt all throughout. ‘To Pray For’ is a descending whirlwind of tremolo picking, before erupting once more into a barrage of heavily placed sledgehammer blows for riffs.
Vocalist Geoff Cairns is another aspect to both the 7” and End Reign as a band. His shrieks, more akin to the scream of a man placed upon a medieval torture device, is one that places him miles ahead of his counterparts. End Reigns recent split with metallic hardcore band Alaska showcased Cairns impressive vocal abilities, being compared to the likes of Jacob Bannon and it's only further expanded upon on End Reign
. While the frenetic desperation of Bannon obviously outshines the wails of Cairns, for a band as young as End Reign it will be very interesting to see just how far Cairns will be able to stretch his ability in the future.
Look, metallic hardcore bands, especially in Europe, are practically a dime a dozen. Whether you’re an already well-established band like Rise And Fall or a skyrocketing star like Oathbreaker, it makes the ability to make any lasting impression on the current scene close to impossible. While End Reign still have a bit of climb ahead of them, their debut 7” proves that the journey towards the top is capable of being reached, which is more than what nearly every other band out there can say. At the very most, their self-titled will be seen as a contender for the most heaviest hardcore band out there; at the very least, it will turn heads and ears that will be sure to keep a bead on just how far this young English band is capable of going. With the talent and ferocity of End Reign, the sky’s the limit.