The hardcore supergroup that’s not on enough radars is finally unleashing their second record, Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face, this Friday. This release has been a long time coming, as we discovered after speaking with guitarist Greg Thomas last month. With Counterparts frontman Brendan Murphy, industry vet Will Putney (Fit For an Autopsy), bassist Jay Pepito (Reign Supreme), guitarist Gregory Thomas (Misery Signals, Shai Hulud), and drummer Billy Rymer (Dillinger Escape Plan), END round out a lineup for the ages with hard-hitting tunes that listeners will love at first listen. For a debut full-length – and second album overall – this is awfully impressive.
The brutality begins with “Covet Not,” sounding visceral and vicious from the very start. Blast beats, decisive vocal delivery, and a guitar tone that’s front-and-center make this a strong start if there ever was one. The time signature is sporadic, too, making for compelling songwriting. “Pariah” hits next, the leading single and a succinct entry point of the band to me. Brendan is outright devastating in the outro, channeling leagues of emotion into his screams.
END keep it going with “Absence” and see some variation in the vocal tones halfway through. “The Reach of Resurrection” has more of a hardcore song length, packing in ample heaviness in a small package. Sometimes all you need to have a satisfying song is 2 minutes, and that’s furthered by “Fear for Me Now.” It’s at this point of the listen where I have to take a break because I’m enjoying the music too much to provide subjective commentary. This release is just THAT good.
“Hesitation Wounds” opens with a sanctimonious sample, and has a crushing breakdown smack dab in the middle to tide listeners through. “Captive to My Curse” hits as hard as any other track at the compact ~2 minute mark. One section bleeds into the next within “Evening Arms,” with the blast beats just as frenetic as the thrashing riffs for the duration of 3 minutes.
“An Apparition” kicks off with a decadent drum fill. The riff at 1:20 is my absolute favorite on the album, with quick strumming and double bass to follow closing out another short-but-sweet piece. The bass gets heard loud and clear in “Every Empty Vein,” and continues the idea of good things coming in small packages at a mere 1:45 in length (one minute of music with more samples to prepare for the last track). “Sands of Sleep” brings Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face to an END, with 5 minutes of a slower, more methodical pace, even including chilling clean vocals to add to the atmosphere.
END have proven that although they may come from different backgrounds, the culmination leads to an impressive exchange of smart ideas and prime execution. With my highlight tracks being “Pariah” and “An Apparition,” this brief-but-brutal album is worthy of your ears. Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face releases June 5th, 2020.
A press copy was provided courtesy of Atom Splitter PR.