End of Green – The Painstream (Napalm Records)Friday, 23rd August 2013
An unknown quantity on these shores. German alternative metal Goth ensemble (get that?) End of Green have seven albums to their credit, with The Painstream being their eighth, and first to receive worldwide release. There’s an innate quality to bands who have been put through the paces over in Europe before getting their shot abroad (see: Before the Dawn and Grand Magus as two prime examples); it’s from taking your lumps and learning the ropes, all the while steadily building a fanbase. End of Green have done virtually all of that, which is why The Painstream works so well.
On the surface, the band’s sound buffers that of Sinamore, Entwine, and the much underrated Marble Arch. All three hob-knobbed it with Goth, but had an iron fist grip on songwriting schematics, which End of Green do as well. There are three cuts worth making a fuss over: “Holidays In Hell,” “Standalone,” and “Final Resistance.” Both “Holidays” and “Standalone” trudge through hook-laden commercial Gothic avenues; the sort where instant choruses reign, while brooding melodies rain down. “Final Resistance” is the album’s top-rung dreary number, where upon vocalist Michael Huber muses about being “Down by the river” over and over. Chris Farley sketches this is not.
Song-oriented Gothic/depressive metal sometimes gets the shaft because there are those who feel its too commercial, but, we’re not quite sure how else these bands are supposed to get their point across. The Painstream is a largely inviting listen, about as palpable and interesting of an album of this ilk should be without getting carried away. Consider this is an excellent first foray into international waters for End of Green.