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Rating:
8.2
Steamforged - The Endless
31 July 2014


01. Whispers Of Myth - Godlike Epiphany
02. The Endless - Infinity, Perpetuity
03. Mu - Three Lives Myriad
04. Atlantis - Trenchbound Majesty
05. Agartha - Worldheart
06. Freya's Anguish
07. Valhalla - Crimson Drops Of Gold
08. Rumination Of The King
09. Avalon - Starless
10. Columna Cerului - Journey Divine
11. Of Gods
12. Empyrean Heaven - Celestial Downfall
13. Antechamber - Solar Providence
14. Stasis - Deity Cocoon
15. Transform - Cosmic Apotheosis
16. Grand Creation - Nova Regnus
17. Apolytos - The Grand Palace
18. History Changed - Tyrant Of Mythology
19. Altered Tomorrow


Mixed and mastered by Brett Windnagle.


The Endless is an almighty creature of infinite power, of all and nothing. The Endless might as well rank among your instrumental AOTY.

Right from the opener "Godlike Epiphany", The Endless instantly strikes for the dimension of the sound it offers: despite being a one-man project, and that one man being a keyboardist, Steamforged's latest is huge and engaging, without neglecting those little frills that make the album more personal and various.

Imbued in a credible and well-achieved spacey atmosphere, keys predictably lead the album with a wide range of tone and mood, now metallic and stinging shrieks, now light and crystalline raindrops, now both intertwined and overlying one another in a chasing of positively discordant melodies. This said, luckily there isn't the presumption to entertain for an hour and a half just with keys, as the other instruments have their much needed space. Despite the fact that sometimes it's hard not to notice that everything except the keys are programmed, the numerous riff and drum interludes don't sound dull or an excuse to water down the track to make more playing time, but contribute to the whole, that would inevitably be ponderous if it had been limited to a 90-minutes solo.

The interesting album concept, as abovementioned, is about the Endless, a creature that gradually discovers many of the wonders of the world, such as Atlantis, Avalon and the Valhalla, and that in his innocent pursuit for knowledge unintentionally destroys them by taking away their different sources of power and such, all to find and to build a place where to belong. This is made much more entertaining when noticed how well the songwriting follows this pattern, with an harmonious succession of ascendant and descendant climaxes to represent the idyllic presentation of the Endless' destinations, and their subsequent falling apart.

If I was to find a blemish in this release, it would be the excessive playing time. Not that it loses quality in the last tracks, since pearls such as the suite "Grand Creation" are in the very last part of the album, but it becomes quite challenging to sit through the whole for an hour and a half. I mean, that's almost three Wintersun albums.

But altogether, The Endless is a great and fresh instrumental album, apt both for a careful and critical listening and as a background while lurking on Reddit.

The whole album is available for streaming on Bandcamp.


 



Written on 04.08.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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LascaillesShroud - 05.08.2014 at 04:59  
Glad to see my bro getting the love he finally deserves
psykometal - 05.08.2014 at 09:43  
Definitely want to check this out. Anything related to Lascaille's Shroud requires investigation. Unfortunately I discovered this solo project a few months ago, while on the road, so couldn't investigate. And I've been home since then, but no computer at home to do stuff on atm. -_-
Zaphod - 05.08.2014 at 11:08  
Much better than the previous album
Doge of Venice - 05.08.2014 at 16:44  
I was about to comment on the terrible guitar tone, but since I just read that it's programmed, I forgive it. Certainly sounds much better than the monstrosities I make in GuitarPro.

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