Endstille - _Dominanz_
(Twilight Vertrieb, 2004)
by: Alexandra Erickson (7 out of 10)
Black metal proliferation, thy name is Endstille. Not that that's necessarily a complaint. But the German giants have put out an album every year since their first release, _Operation Wintersturm_ in 2002. Usually, when bands are as abundant with material as this, the quality of the music is sacrificed tremendously. However, Endstille manage to keep their militantly fierce brand of black metal honed tightly. And with their 2004 release, _Dominanz_, their guns are kept at the ready with the exceptional precision of an expert sniper.

The entire ten-track album kicks off at a maddening pace with the title track and doesn't relent for the duration of the recording. Machine-gunning drums complemented with grinding, furiously fast guitars are omnipresent throughout, especially on "Conquest Is Atheism" and the stark traditional black metal effort, "Monotonous". Iblis' vocals, screaming and painfully strong, do little less than call the masses to take up arms. Deep chested death metal bass drum work is brought to the forefront on "Witch", but it quickly barrels into the tight black metal standard, with an absolutely annihilating demonstration nearly halfway through the track. Amidst the chaos and battlefield imagery the music conjures, there are still melodic, depressive guitar strains underneath the heavy artillery. "Crucified" opens as a stark contrast to most of the album, with an emotive, oppressive aria. Retaining its melodic quality throughout, "Crucified" is almost reminiscent of Windir or even certain, less folkish Nokturnal Mortum tracks. _Dominanz_ ends on a slightly doomy note with "Endstille (Feindfahrt)", but it still manages to keep with the menacing overall feeling of the album. The closing track is almost completely instrumental, with melodic yet threatening overtones. The sounds of guns firing and bombers flying overhead cut through the swampy, static laden atmosphere of the song with a ferocity not often heard.

Endstille keep exceptionally close to traditional black metal, not straying too far from the beaten path. Yet with _Dominanz_, they also machete their ways through new jungles, exploring a vastly militant side that is little seen in the genre, but that fits perfectly. This is a release for purists who have heard it all, for the ones who need something new. In the unlikely circumstance that you haven't heard this release, take a listen.

Contact: http://www.endstille.com

(article published 22/8/2008)


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