Ends Of The Earth
You might be wondering why you see a review with my name appear on the site after so long :). I know at this point nobody expects me to write reviews anymore. And the reason is simple, my full-time author writing career simply doesn't allow me to review albums anymore. I wish it wasn't so, but in order to make a living from my science fiction writing, I had to make some choices. In order to pay the bills I have to release a full novel every 90 days (ideally faster but I'm struggling with that) as this is how indie publishing works. I'm happy to report that in the last 12 months I've held the best-seller titles 4 times on Amazon in various science fiction kindle categories and I'm growing a pasionate readership that demands more boosk from me. To date I've sold over 150'000 copies of my books, so not too shabby that I decided to pat myself on the back for once (I tend to be very hard with myself and not stop and celebrate achievments like this one. God knows why). Not too long ago I realized that without metalreviews.com I would probably never had the skills to write a full-length novel. let alone eleven of them. And now I'm doing it for a living. It's funny how life is, and it now feels like nothing happens by mistake. And it doesn't, as at the end of the day, this website taught me how to write. Granted writing reviews and thrilling SciFi novels are not exactly the same skill, but writing hundreds of reviews allowed me to work on my English skills (not my first language). So even though I've super busy tending to my latest book launch (A relaunch of my very first book after a long rewrite) and preparing to launch the next one, I had to stop for a moment and review this new Euphoreon album. I often listen to metal as part of my writing process (and in fact I named one of the ships in my Universe in Flames books after this very band), it helps me focus on my craft (I'm sure very few authors like to write with metal blasting in the background, but well, it works for me and quiets my ADHD mind ;) ). Now on the review...
It's been 7 years since Euphoreon released their debut album. And at last, 2018 sees the follow-up album finally land for our listening pleasures. If you remember I've given the first album no shortage of praise (album of the year), as one of the best melodic death metal albums I had ever listened to. So when I got the promo for the second album, I was exstatic about listening to it, but also worried as my expectations where high to say the least.
It didn't help that the first song on the album is nothing special and probably the weakest track of the band (but then again it might also just have been due to my high expectations). The second song picked up some steam with some good orchestral keyboard work and a good addictive guitar riff, but still, I didn't find that a well-defined chorus to be strong enough to make the song shine. At this point I was really getting worried (spoiler alert: that didn't last long) that Euphoreon might have lost their magic. Fortunately by song three, not only do things pick up, but that song and the next ones not only get better but they display even better cohesion and majesty than on the first album. And while I'm not 100% convinced that mastering of the album with the vocals behind the guiatrs was the best way to go, by the end of the first listen, it didn't bother me anymore. As a matter of fact, after a couple of listens, I realized that I didn't mind anymore that the first two songs were sub-par compared to the rest of the album. In fact I started appreciating Ends of the Earth more as my number of listens grew. But the real magic starts happening on track 3: Zero Below the Sun. And then it just keeps getting better and better. Furious guitar melodies and riffs, majestic vocals, and pure melodeath magic is unleashed in the following songs like Mirrors, Craveness and the mind-blowing Oblivion. These three songs alone are better than anything present on the first album, which is saying something. There are a little less breaks than on the previous album, and since these add some really majestic, eerie changes in the music, I wished there were more of these moments, like in the fantastic song Oblivion. This type of breaks reminds me of X-Japan and very few bands manages to do them as well as both Euphoreon and X does.
One thing that this album does better than the previous one is mood. Don't get me wrong the debut album is still overall slightly stronger in some ways, but over the years I relized that I kept listening to it less and less, and that's because it's overall melodies and mood tended to be on the sad, borderline depressing side. This new album is more upbeat and I'm for one looking forward to listening to it over and over again. Even though this album has one less track, it's actually slightly longer than the debut album, thanks to long and epic songs. Many bands stumble on their second effort after delivering a near perfect debut album. I'm glad to report that's not Euphoreon's case. In fact this album is so good that I'm really looking forward to them bringing it home with their next release. They clearly improves on the overall arrangements of the songs, and their guitar riffs and overall melodies keep improving, so I'm really looking forward to what the future holds for this all-time favorite band of mine.
Hopefully the band won't take another 7 years to deliver the next album (that would not help their career). They've managed to recapture my attention with Ends of the Earth, and I really hope that we'll get a third album soon. Euphoreon is a tremendously talented bamd, and one that really needs more recognition that they have garnered for themselves up until now. Their blend of melodeath is both familiar and unique at the same time. I think that is mostly due to the sound of the guitars and their signature & epic melodies.
If you enjoy bands like Wintersun, Ensiferum and similar melodeath acts, then do yourself a favor and get this album quickly. It's avaialble on Bandcamp, iTunes (including Apple Music), Amazon & Google Play. What the hell are you still doing here? Go and listen to this fantastic melodeath album on bandcamp, now I tell you! (you'll thank me later)
Chris quoted 93 / 100
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