Hibernacular Records 2014
I. The Prelude to Suffering 2. The Birth of Regret 3. Foster Vengeful Longing
4. The Peoples Temple of Pogrom 5. The fall of Tranquillity 6. Through Coagulated Clouds
7. Necrotizing Reconstruction 8. Within the Dark Sorrow 9. The Cruciatus of Julia
10. A Mausoleum of Marrow & Loathing
This isn't just an ordinary black metal album. No, this is a misanthropic black metal album and looking through the track list for "The Pain of Passing, I Embrace" you can't help but agree as this tapestry of pain, anguish and evil unfurls before you. Opening with the aptly entitled "The Prelude to Suffering", Exquisite Ending begin in an appropriately dour and sombre tone before adding into the mix the whispered promise of both death and destruction to come. This is a promise that the band are comfortable with following through with as “The Birth of Regret” takes a hold in the form of a harrowing battering ram of raw, uncompromising and vengeful black metal! With a slightly under-developed production level, grim forceful vocal work and a mixture of double kick drumming and raging cold riffs, Exquisite Ending take the traditional black metal mould and twist it into something even more deliberately foul and sinister, if you can imagine such a thing?Despite the bands ferocity though they are capable of moments of great tranquillity and peaceful thought provoking passages of ambiance and atmospheric reverie, the closing moments of “The Birth of Regret” being one such occurrence.
However “Foster Vengeful Longing” is quick to dispel any thoughts of dumbing down with a mid-paced bout of maniacal tormented darkness, a humbling cacophony that puts an end to halfhearted notions of relenting! Following a bizarre audio clip seemingly about, I’m guessing here, a metaphorical mass suicide but I’m guessing with more genocidal undertones and contexts, “The People’s Temple of Pogrom” opens into more of the same from the band, ravenous but controlled black metal rage that speaks of death in the most sickening of ways through lyrics like “Let your children sleep now”, hinting at the massacres carried out in the past such as in Romania in the Second World War when the Jews we’re slaughtered in a mass riot or Pogrom. (I may be completely off base with that theory). Tracks such as “The fall of Tranquility” continue the bands momentum without adding anything new into the mix whilst “Through Coagulated Clouds” hits home with a deep seated bout of intensity and grinding black metal fury! “Necrotizing Reconstruction” is pure destruction in musical form but with haunting under laying bleak melody within its tapestry and towards the end “Within the Dark Sorrow” and “A Cruciatus of Julia” are both sturdy tracks with a nice blend of insanely brutal and surprisingly graceful beats and harmonies. Ending with “A Mausoleum of Marrow & Loathing”, Exquisite Ending prove once more than they are capable of much more than just you average blast beat fest and round out a highly impressive album!
7.5 Out Of 10 – Luke Hayhurst