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The first law of thermodynamics in action - 84%

Jophelerx, May 10th, 2014

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, although it can be converted into other forms of energy and transferred elsewhere - in that case, however, some energy is always lost to other sources. That last part of the law is the most relevant here; Upwards of Endtime's debut was a nerdy, diverse, riff-tacular monster. Sadly Never Fore is still quite good, but some of the energy of the debut, as seems inevitable for many bands, is lost. In the case of the follow-up to Upwards of Endtime's badass self-titled album, this is more or less a case of too many songs; many of the songs are great, but there are fourteen of them, and a few of them aren't.

Namely, "Circles: Reprise," "So Mote It Be," "The Gathering," and "Time Again" are a bit boring and sort of drag on; not bad per se, just sort of dull and not really doing much for the album. If you cut out those songs, you basically have the self-titled album, Part 2, which is to say the rest of it is pretty awesome. While not quite as versatile, the songs are even more compact and catchy, with dark ominous anthems like "Princeps Tenebrarum" (DAEMON SATANICA) that hearken more towards doom, sleazy rockers like "Dwellers of the Dust" that evoke Motorhead, and more epic heavy numbers like "Defenders." If you want a more specific idea of the influences present here, check out my review of the debut.

Swanson is good, the production is good, the songwriting is mostly good; to go more in depth I'd really be repeating myself, as aside from some consistency issues it really may as well be the debut Part 2. The epic heavy metal is perhaps dialed back a bit, focusing more on doomy Satanic pieces and Motorheadish romps, but rest assured it's still well worth your time. If you're a fan of the debut, Swanson, or any of the influences I've mentioned here or in my previous UoE review, check it out!