Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review: Endamage - Apotheosis (2008)

Endamage [ MySpace ]

Apotheosis is the debut release from Endamage, a melodic Death Metal outfit from the city of Braga in northern Portugal. Although melodeath is a crowded subgenre - some would argue that it's overcrowded - there's still opportunity for bands of this ilk to capture some fans before the trend fully runs its course. The flip side of that, however, is that bands that can only muster a mediocre (or less) effort will quickly be stomped into oblivion. Apotheosis shows Endamage  to be a band that could potentially make some headway, thanks to skillful musicianship and a willingness to transcend boundaries.

The first minute of the demo is consumed by a rather majestic intro before "The Search For Redemption" explodes from the speakers. Classic harmonized riffs from Vitor and frontman Pingas float above Suraj's pummeling beats. The song does contain the prerequisite breakdowns, but they're kept to a minimum as the band prefers to slay with venomous riffs and jackhammer double-bass. Pingas delivers the lyrics in a hoarse, slightly raspy howl, which remains fairly constant throughout the three songs presented here. A little more vocal variation would definitely help Endamage stand out, but Pingas' performance is good nonetheless. While Rui's bass is, for the most part, hidden in the mix on the first track, his contributions are significant on "Aeons". Paired with some caustic leads from Pingas and Vitor, the bass helps establish this track as one of the highlights of the demo. The final song, "Of Truth And Wisdom", delivers a heavier bottomed out groove than the previous tracks but still retains all the flashy six-string elements that are so integral to Endamage's formula.

On the surface, Apotheosis is a good example of what fans of melodeath have come to expect from the style. However, there are subtle hints throughout the demo that offer a glimpse of what the future could hold for Endamage. They're good songwriters who don't appear afraid to stray from the run-of-the-mill elements that have been done time and again by countless other bands. Apotheosis probably won't blow you away, unless you're a hardcore fan of melodic Death Metal, but the demo proves Endamage has the potential to rise above the pack.

Track Listing
1 Apotheosis (Intro) 1:00
2 The Search For Redemption 4:45
3 Aeons 4:31
4 Of Truth And Wisdom 3:49
Total Runtime 14:05

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