Necronautical - The Endurance At Night [Cacophonous - 2016]The Endurance At Night is the second full-length release from this four piece band from north-western England. And it offers up a often speedy, memorable & at times quite creative selection of symphonic black metal craft.
I’ll have to admit that many modern black metal release, what ever the sub-genre, leave me somewhat cold. They seemingly most fall into a few categories- either they are to been as fast & cliché satanic as possible. Or they are rethreading the more angular riffing craft of the likes of Deathspell Omega, but with out any of the flare or surprise. Or they are just badly mimic classic bands- both underground, and overground. So it was nice to be more than a little pleasantly surprised by The Endurance At Night.
Sure it’s far from re-inventing the black metal wheel, and it’s not really ground-breaking, but what it is a well played & well conceived symphonic black metal album. It mangers to blend together memorable yet atmospheric riff craft, with some rewarding compositional twists and turns. Mostly the tracks are fairly fast & pacey, yet layered in their attack- bringing out the good sides of symphonic black metal epic-ness, with out the cheese. The songs are often quite darkly theatrical & grand in their feel, having sinister cinematic edges.
I guess if you're looking for comparisons, you’d say early Cradle Of Filth, at their more speedy yet darkly tuneful. Or Dimmu Borgir, when they blended memorability, speed & moody well- with-out sounding tired & sold-out. Or maybe later-day Emperor, when they were less showy & progressive, and more focused on creating rapid yet epic black metal song craft. Yet the band do also add their own twists to proceedings- so this is not just a re-hash of old ideas.
On a few tracks when the pace is slowed , we get either more mid-paced symphonic blacked song-craft. Or blends of goth-metal and Iron Maiden like chug, but with the symphonic grandness still in place.
So in summing up it’s nice (for once) to find a modern/ recent black metal album, that I’ve played more than the cursory few times- for either personally review purposes, or to pass onto one of M[M]'s other writers. So if you enjoy symphonic black metal, The Endurance At Night is certainly one of the more worthy addition to the genre in recent memory, and I look forward to hearing what the band do next.Roger Batty