Endon – Through the Mirror Album Review + Stream

There is a surge of extreme bands today that incorporate noise elements in their song structures, attempting to push the boundaries of what is sonically tolerable. Experimental sludge duo The Body have produced such excellent specimens, as have grind dissidents Full of Hell. However, it is Endon from Tokyo that are taking these efforts to a whole other level. Following the release of their 2014 debut record, Mama, the band is now releasing its successor, Through the Mirror.

Raised within the great Tokyo tradition of experimental acts, Endon have found valuable help in prominent figures of the scene, such as Atsuo (drummer of Boris) and Soichiro Nakamura (of White Heaven) who aided in the production and recording aspects of their debut record respectively. As devastating as Mama was, it felt like there was still room for improvement, and that there was still more that Endon could squeeze out of their music. For this reason, the band went on a journey, traveling to the US in order to produce Through the Mirror with the great Kurt Ballou, a gamble that ultimately paid off.

What makes Endon’s sound that fierce is their incorporation of noise through the black metal and grind bones of their music. Even though the noise injection in extreme metal forms is not something new, Endon produce a very organic result by treating the noise sources as additional instruments, rather than an extra layer of sound. The noise machines are used as if they were guitars, parts of the rhythm section or vocal lines, enhancing their brutality, playing a central role rather than an accompanying part.

Label: Hydra Head

This animosity does not contain solely the extreme dimensions, with Endon showing a capability for a more emotional take when it comes to their narrative. Sure, this is an album that will destroy your ears, but there is a need for some shallow valleys between the terrifying peaks. Through ambient passages, clean guitars and quasi-acoustic moments, the dynamic quality of Through The Mirror is augmented, the quieter parts become oasis amidst the cyberpunk world, and the heavy riffs and noise gain in purpose and force, appearing more destructive.

It is all about applying as much pressure as possible to the listener’s mind, forcing it towards a breaking point. This breaking point for Endon is a path towards enlightenment, a path that is paved with improvisational parts, noise, catastrophic sludge riffs, black metal patterns and manic vocal renditions. It is the concept of an ordered chaos that Endon showcase with Through The Mirror. At first glance the record might appear random, all neurons firing at once towards unknown directions, but staying with the album unveils that underneath lies an act that appears volatile in its mood, but is very precise when it comes to its planning.

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Sound engineer, sonic manipulator, record hunter and writer/contributor for a variety of webzines.

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