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Taking no prisioners - 85%

Paganbasque, July 11th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Art of Propaganda

The black metal scene in the German speaking countries has traditionally been focused on a certain type of black metal where relentless songs were the norm, always intensive but retaining some sense of melody, which I have always found interesting. In recent times bands like the Germans Der Weg Einer Freiheit or the Austrian Ellende, without leaving aside this traditional approach, have increased this sense of melody creating albums where the atmosphere is particularly intense. Now it’s time to turn out our attention to the Austrian project Ellende. This one-man band was created by Lukas Gosch in Graz back in 2011 and this project is exclusively his property though he uses live members to play gigs.

Ellende plays a rather interesting mixture of black metal with atmospheric and post metal influences. From the very beginning, the quality of the stuff composed by Lukas was very good, though this project gained a bigger recognition in the scene thanks to the album 'Todbringer' which caught the attention of many fans. Thanks to this success, Lukas signed a new deal with the always recommendable label Art of Propaganda, which has made possible the release of the third and newest opus 'Lebensnehmer'. From the very first moment that you take a look the its macabre and war related artwork, you realise that this stuff is an ode to darkness and a melancholic approach to existentialism. Ellende’s stuff is primarily black metal with a strong atmospheric and mournful touch, where the guitars play a major role. This instrument´s tone varies from the most furious moments, mixing the most intense black metal with some post influences, and other sections where the riffs have a more tranquil and hypnotic touch. Those parts are the best ones in my humble opinion as they show the intense work Ellende has done composing these tracks. Like the guitars, the rest of instruments vary their tone and pace according to the approach of each song. This makes the compositions to flow very naturally from some fast and furious sections to the most mid-paced and even slow ones, where melodies are more prominent. A nice example of this could be the song “Der Blick Wird Leer”, which contains very contrasted parts. The keys play a secondary role in Ellende, though they have certain moments to shine during very short though inspired sections like in “Augenblick”, for example. Lukas likes to introduce some guitars with a more acoustic touch, as it happens in “Der Wege” or the excellent closing track “Atemzung”. The use of purely acoustic or, like this time, acousticesque electric guitar chords helps to reinforce the atmospheric and gloomy characteristics of Ellende’s music.

Ellende’s third instalment confirms the progression and quality of this Austrian project. 'Lebensnehmer' is an excellent work where the project reinforces its strengths and sounds more confident than ever. This album should help the band to increase its niche of fans, not only in the German speaking lands, but also in every country where people can appreciate this excellently done black metal.

Originally written for "www.thepitofthedamned.blogspot.com."