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Upwards of Endtime is from the Northeastern United States, and plays occult heavy metal. The band’s vocalist Phil Swanson is one of the most unique vocalists I know. The way he puts his vocal melodies together and the lyrics he writes are truly brilliant; however, Phil’s voice isn’t a John Arch, but he uses it as another instrument. The lyrics aren’t the best thing written, but I find them to fit to what the band creates musically. The band deals with Satan, Paganism, and death, and they do this to reject Christianity. They embrace Satan and talk about the mythological places in hell. This fits perfectly into the atmosphere the band creates; unlike a lot of heavy metal bands, I find them focusing more on an atmosphere rather than sweeping hooks and being epic.
The fourteen tracks all clocking in to about two and a half or three minutes are punky heavy metal riffs with a few slower doom moments thrown in there. The songwriting of this album is much improved upon in here compared to their first album, where sometimes the songs dragged on and became tedious, but in this album the guitars have tons of balls in them and show the beauty in Phil’s voice. The production is more vocal heavy, but it is the only way it should be for this album. Every listen to this album brings out more and more subtleties that weren’t noticed before, and make it a rewarding album.
Don’t expect any huge hooks or catchy choruses through the album, but do expect absolutely superb songwriting. Upwards of Endtime knows when and how to keep their music atmospheric and when to keep the fist pumping heavy metal riffs. If you want some high quality new heavy metal that is intrinsically evil, this is the band for you.