Monday, May 12, 2014

Endsight - A Vicious Circle

Ensight are a metalcore/melodic death metal band, pretty much the epitome of the stuff that's called "Gothencore." While I don't normally cite the press quotes in a review, this band's style is characterized by how they fall short of their influences. They play some sort of streamlined metalcore following Killswitch Engage, but they lack the understanding of the function of the chorus - a recurring melodic hook that holds the song together from all sides. They also don't favor breakdowns, a simple groove element that holds together many of Killswitch's heavier songs. They hardly remind me of Darkest Hour - a cited influence and one of my favorite bands - they completely lack that sense of melody, keeping melody up mostly through some directionless string-skipped fragments and clean bits. Hardly a single melody is developed, never mind a sequence of them. That brings us to the primary influence of Gothencore, At the Gates. Despite being a relatively cookie cutter metalcore band, this band has none of the punkish energy necessary to drive the style. Yeah, they copy a few ATG riffs, but they feel more stale than the pure worship of Casketgarden. The plastic production really doesn't help the lack of energy, it's way too clean yet hardly forceful.

Endsight focuses on a lot of slightly atmospheric chordal riffs that are common in hardcore and metalcore to set the tone and build a feeling within a song, but they alternate them hastily with directionless and mismatched string skippers. Neither of those has much effect, there are a few moments when it feels like they might be getting on the right track, but they never get there. Part of it is that the band has little sense of dynamics - even if the drum speed is halved, they don't feel like they slow down. The production feels like an amateur tried to do something halfway between Devin Townsend's wall of noise on Undoing Ruin and Adam D's typical metalcore production and it doesn't hit the sweet spot of either. Worst of all, the vocalist is painfully monotonous.

Bottom line, it's bland metalcore and it doesn't even have the genuine feel of the real-deal American metalcore copycats who did this nearly a decade ago. At least it's not djent.

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