Album Review: Thanatophobia – Unendlich

unendlich

Unendlich means ‘infinite/without end’ in German and sums up in many ways  the work ethic and drive of Michael Connors, the vocalist and multi instrumentalist behind the Maryland Black Metal project, Unendlich with an impressive turn out  in just a few years of, including this latest, three full lengths “Monarch of the Damned” in 2014 and 2016’s “Scales of Existence” as well as a substantial EP “Misanthropic Sedition” last November on which he enlisted Anthony Rouse to help out on drums, who has joined him once again for this album.

Regarding the lyrical topics, Connors comments that, “Thanatophobia‘ deals with the reliance on religion as a mechanism to satisfy the human ego’s desire to attribute meaning to one’s existence and pacify the feelings of discomfort in the unknown – in life and in death”, a more forward thinking approach to Black Metal, which thankfully is catching on amongst an increasing number of like minded Black Metal bands over that old and well worn satanic approach.

If you enjoyed those previous offerings you’ll likewise love this latest eleven track, fifty minute offering which continues in the same high standards of its predecessors, from the vitriolic crushing opener “Oblivion of Time” with its full tilt, dense delivery and slick tempo switching, to “Already Dead” which appeared on that previously mentioned EP and is justifiably featured here also with its slightly unnerving Ulver-like cleans.

You can’t fault this release, from the composition to musicianship, with harsh vocals that cut through with vitriolic intent. The tracks are well varied with “Death Rights” delivering energy and atmosphere and title track, the symphonic edged “Thanatophobia” taking on a more ambient mood, my favourite track has to be “The Final Error” it’s a strong beast of a track with an unnerving acoustic midpoint embellished with an unnerving spoken passage and the final piece “My Own Misery” takes on a straightforward Black Metal approach but done so well, there is a deceptive brilliance to it, an addictive quality that makes you want to hear the album again and that’s always a good thing.

Thanatophobia” was engineered by Mike Connors, mixed and mastered by Magnus Andersson of Endarker Studio Sweden and the art by Misanthropic-Art, available now from Horror Pain Gore Death Records, from their bandcamp page, as a limited edition CD as well as in digital format.

Rating – 4 ½ / 5

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