Friday, July 25, 2014

Unendlich - Monarch of the Damned

Unendlich is a black/death metal band from Baltimore, Maryland.  Until a few months ago, nobody knew of them, or the mastermind behind the music, Michael Connors, but now you have and be glad that you did!  Unendlich, meaning forever or long lasting in German, released their debut album “Monarch of the Damned” a few days ago (July 22nd.)  It is an amazing album that sounds excellent.  The production is astounding for an unsigned band and their first release.  After doing some digging around, I was not able to find if this was recorded in a studio or not, so I guess the answer will be shrouded in mystery for a while!

Immediately after pressing play, you are met with an incredibly catchy and memorable melody that soon kicks into a barrage of black metal!  Once the beast is released, it doesn't rest a whole lot until about half way into the album when another acoustic melody breaks the intensity. 
The vocals are a real stand out within the songs.  They are growled so well that they still sound brutal but you can understand what he is saying if you listen hard enough.  It is a very Jeff Walker (Carcass) sounding growl, which fits surprisingly well within this kind of music.   There isn't a ton of switching it up with different types of vocals, which can get old after a few plays. 

Musically, this album is full of memorable riffs and extremely precise drumming.  I can’t tell if a drum machine was used or live drums were recorded, but whichever option it was, an incredible amount of time was spent getting them absolutely perfect.  The sound is crisp, clean and there are no parts of the set that are too overbearing from one another.  The guitar work is a huge highlight of almost every song.  There are catchy riffs, shredding solos, and acoustic melodies that accentuate the heaviness of the album.  The bass is never very prominent in any of the songs but that is very common in black/death metal. 

Overall, this album kicks some serious ass, especially for a debut album.  Going from no previously released material to a work of art like “Monarch of the Damned” is a huge accomplishment.  I am extremely excited to hear what is in store for the future of Unendlich!


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