Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
End Of Suffering


2.5
average

Review

by Simon STAFF
May 4th, 2019 | 24 replies


Release Date: 05/03/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rattlesnake without its rattle.

As you experience the closing seconds of “End of Suffering”, with its sombre piano melody sluggishly commandeering the album’s exit with the same kind of lacklustre performance the rest of the record has shown, you should be well-versed in the band’s intended acclimation. To say End of Suffering is the very definition of ambivalence would be a somewhat understated description of my overall feelings towards The Rattlesnakes’ third effort. I’m a massive fan of Modern Ruin and an even bigger advocate of their debut album, Blossom, so it comes with a heavy heart that I have to poke holes in End of Suffering for, essentially, being a pallid collection of faceless indie-rock songs with elements of experimentation that function as a Deus Ex Machina; in a last-ditch effort to prevent the record from being a complete waste of time. For anyone who’s been paying close attention, it should probably come as no surprise that we’re at this junction; Frank has been shifting towards this kind of sound since his departure from Gallows all those years ago. His failed attempts with Pure Love saw a revaluation and the subsequent birth of The Rattlesnakes: a fan-rejoicing hardcore triumph that saw Frank returning to his once perfected element. Dubiously, Modern Ruin was a surprise shift into the ill-fated sound of Pure love, albeit with an understanding for Blossom’s more serrated punk sensibilities being married into this newly melodic-driven tool set. Anyone with a penchant for guessing future events will have had the foresight of where End of Suffering was heading – especially when considering the unnerving singles that were released prior to the album’s full unveiling – but it doesn’t stop the pill from being any less difficult to swallow.

In short, The Rattlesnakes have shed the most important skin from their arsenal of sounds: their anger – a trait that once distinguished them from their peers. One’s notion on this being bad because it lacks even a morsel of harsh screams or the classic southern snarl of previous iterations shouldn’t feel entirely discouraged by the thought, because the more you hear End of Suffering the more overtly apparent it is that something integral is missing here. What this album predominantly consists of is hollow, groove-based rock songs with a weak pulse. The novelty of the Queens of the Stone Age orientated “Tyrant Lizard King”’s sleaze and swagger, or the fuzzed out post punk of “Love Games” soon become vacant memories as you struggle to stay invested in the bland rock numbers of “Crowbar” and “Heartbreaker” – watching the album regress and homogenize itself into a flavourless soup. Frank has come a long way in terms of honing and bettering his singing voice, but his limited range turns into a repetitive slog by the halfway mark of the record – he just isn’t equipped to hold the weight of a song when the instrumentals take a backseat. Which brings me on to a mirrored issue with the album’s instrumentals, in that they are just as lucid and half-baked as the vocals. The music pertained here isn’t as sharp or as tight as previous offerings; the sloppy transitions found in the third quarters of “Why a Butterfly Can’t Love a Spider” and “Heartbreaker” bring jarring tonal shifts to what the rest of each song offers. But even with that aside, the riffs themselves feel uninspired and blunt. The lethargic and repetitive songwriting for “Latex Dreams”, “Little Devil” and “Kitty Sucker” really intensify the pacing issues with this album, but it also continues to highlight the perplexing decision to do away with the band’s most significant facet for End of Suffering.

Look, I don’t want to keep beating on the fact End of Suffering lacks the band’s signature abrasive qualities, but its lack of inclusion has had a detrimental effect on the quality and feeling of not only the LP but the way the band sounds. As mentioned earlier, the album’s more experimental lean on the prosaic indie-rock riff is its only saving grace – bar Frank’s occasionally well-executed hooks for songs like “Anxiety”. “Angel Wings” is the only track on here to elevate the band’s sonic endeavours, and it does so with such grace and ease it makes it stand out like a sore thumb. The track isn’t without its hilarious ironies either, centring its theme around lethargy. Its dreamlike composition and Frank’s lyrics – which delve into reality’s hardships going away with the assistance of medication and alcohol – create what is easily the most successful and experimentally engaging track of this entire experience.

Yes, End of Suffering is a massive disappointment that fails to progress the band because of egregious creative decisions, but it’s not an offensively bad album – just one that lacks the skill set to execute these newer ideas with an independent frame of mind. The most valuable analogy I can give for End of Suffering is to imagine Modern Ruin stripped of its harsher elements with diluted – sometimes cheapened – melodic hooks. There are a few enjoyable moments to be had, and the sample of Frank talking to his daughter in the closing track is effectively touching, but the bottom line is that this is a fragmented record that’s ultimately eclipsed by previous achievements. It seems narrow-minded to try and pigeonhole Frank as being at his best when he’s screaming and shouting, but essentially that’s where he’s always excelled as an artist. And unfortunately, the proof is in the pudding: The Rattlesnakes’ creative ambitions result in that absence here, ergo End of Suffering sounds unfulfilled and damaged because of it. In the end, what you’re left with is a generic rock album with a couple of noteworthy moments and an aftertaste that will probably alienate a few long-time fans of the band.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: CD-BOOK/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: The CD-book is a hardback book that comes with the album and contains a collection of guitar tabs, studio photos and lyrics.

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.internationaldeathcult.com/




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user ratings (38)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2019


14586 Comments


woops just asked you about this in the gallows thread hahaha

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Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2019


14586 Comments


gotta say that i largely agree with you on this tho, pretty much hit the nail on the head. shame our frank has gone down this path tho, always hoped hed retain at least some biting edge

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well, i question a lot of what he's doing these days. the woke smirnoff campaign to make gigs safer for women made me cringe hard. i agree with the subject, but fuck was it done in a corporate way

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Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2019


14586 Comments


i havent seen it tbh. i had sorta forgotten him and this band were still a thing until about last week,

bloc
May 4th 2019


58239 Comments


I'd give this between a 2.5 and 3, had some catchy moments

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Ashtiel
May 4th 2019


792 Comments


never listened to Frank Carter but i'm liking the energy on this. where would one go from here?

Digging: Norma Jean - All Hail

robotmagician
May 4th 2019


1200 Comments


just blossom and the first two gallows records. grey britain is my favorite record frank’s been involved with but some people like orchestra of wolves better

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@ashitel



If you like this listen to modern ruin next and work your way back to the heavier stuff. Might be worth checking pure love as well as that’s similar to this and modern ruin

JesperL
May 4th 2019


470 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

ugh. they're fantastic live but idk if i will bother to catch them next time they come through, assuming the setlist will primarily consist of this. glad i caught them a couple of times on the blossom and modern ruin cycles tho!

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[2]

DatsNotDaMetulz
May 4th 2019


3923 Comments


As I said in the other album's thread, the most disappointing thing about this is that it was released on the 10th anniversary of Grey Britain so that reminder of what Frank was once capable of is even more prominent.

robotmagician
May 4th 2019


1200 Comments


I can appreciate that frank is doing what he loves and that after pure love kinda failed he went back to his roots in a sense and i’m sad to see he’s completely and utterly abandoned that (and he did with modern ruin so it’s not like this is a surprise). just sucks that what he does best and what is most engaging and interesting about his music is stuff that doesn’t make him happy

jfromnj
May 4th 2019


16 Comments


Modern Ruin was amazing and I kind of expected this move. I think I can appreciate this for what it is, without holding his hardcore past over his head. This is a good rock record.

Asura14
May 5th 2019


293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Ah man.... I loved modern ruin, this review is scaring me. Will have to listen to this tho

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Jamdbz
May 6th 2019


432 Comments


This bores me to death.

Shame, I really liked their first two records.

Minushuman24
May 6th 2019


2395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah.... this is a let down. A real shame I loved Modern Ruin to pieces.

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WhiteNoise
May 7th 2019


3664 Comments


I really enjoyed this, but I’ve never listened to his other stuff, I only stumbled across it on Spotify.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Honestly, Blossom is definitely one of my favourite hardcore punk/rock albums of the decade, but it stank of giving the people what they wanted before trying a different approach to writing more Pure Love-esque tunes. He got the balance perfect on Modern Ruin, but here he has thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

DDDeftoneDDD
May 8th 2019


8348 Comments


Like the previous record...is it thaat different?

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DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's derivative indie-rock, in a nutshell. So, yeah, it's quite different compared to the last two



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