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ENDSTILLE's music has been colorfully described as "aggressive Black Metal with the fire-speed of a MG42 and the power of heavy ship-artillery". I would say that this is a fairly accurate depiction, considering their numerous anthems to World War 2 imagery, heavy weaponry, and merciless Black Metal assaults, which has often led to wrongful accusations of nazi-sympathies.
As ENDSTILLE aren't the kind of band that strays too far from their roots, their ever-growing fan-base knows what to expect from "Endstilles Reich", which is the quartets fifth studio album. The album opens with a fierce scream that pierces the nightly silence, and suddenly you're thrown into a battlefield with flak- and machine-gun fire flying all around you with unmatched fervor. The screams of vocalist Iblis are as vicious and hateful as ever, the riffs still sound somewhat like a more brutal version of earlier GORGOROTH, and the drums are like a gruesome battery of death.
If it's true that music inspires violence, ENDSTILLE should be considered extremely dangerous. The pounding rhythm of "Vorwärts!" ("Forward") encourages total annihilation of any given enemy, while "The One I Hate" is an intense monument to scorn and contempt. Everything is performed at a break-neck pace, and there is little cover for the all-encompassing hail of bullets. In addition to the aforementioned tracks, the album is full of nice highlights, from the somewhat melodic title-track, to the bitter vengefulness of "Scars".
Fans of ENDSTILLE's signature musical warfare will not be disappointed with this ferocious release, which definitely ranks amongst their best to date. Everything from the malevolent vocals to the rapid artillery fire is sounding top-notch, with an brutal edge that destroys many lesser bands. Thus, "Endstilles Reich" is a solid albeit somewhat generic release from one of the primers of German Black Metal, and thankfully their battleship doesn't look like it's about to be defeated anytime soon.
(Online February 13, 2008)
Written for the Metal Observer