End of Green – Void Estate (Napalm)Wednesday, 9th August 2017
Just a bummer all around here, and we’re not simply talking about Void Estate’s subject matter. End of Green’s 2013 The Painstream effort was a catchy-as-can-be Goth metal foray, blending pop-metal hooks with the girth and romanticism of Type O Negative hanging out with Icon-era Paradise Lost. It was the breakout effort for a band, who, up until that point, were somewhat of a mid-tier German troupe. The four years since The Painstream have apparently dulled nearly all of the edges of End of Green’s sound. Void Estate has no urgency nor excitement.
Forget the metal here, because it’s not happening. (Would be curious to know what the Napalm Records brass thinks of this.) Instead, Void Estate is dressed up as an alternative rock album with mild country and AOR influences. Vocalist Michelle Darkness remains the best thing about End of Green, but he’s just sputtering all over this thing, perhaps tired of the go-nowhere tempos (seriously, this thing sounds like one long, exhausted song), lazy riffs and bland chorus choices. The sobbing opener “Send in the Clowns” works; same with the misty “City of Broken Thoughts.” But the rest? It’s just a lot of lazy ideas, the band sounding like they’re sleep-walking through the songs (props to drummer Mathias “Lusiffer” Siffermann for staying alive).
Void Estate is a near-stinker, an obvious disappointment and proof that End of Green perhaps needs to re-think their place in the Goth metal world. If anything, Void Estate removes the band away from their core base. And we’ve seen how this plays out: Band creates “questionable,” sound-altering album, then realizes it was a mistake and whips up a comeback. End of Green is next on the list.