The realm that has become black metal is one that is rife with experimentation that much is certain. It’s a style that can easily churn out something crushingly brutal as it can astonishingly beautiful. Some bands out there have decided to bring both of those worlds together in a quite dissonant fashion, thus the creation of blackgaze. It’s a very balanced style in my opinion, but like any music, it can easily become poor in quality if not in the right hands. I had my usual skeptics with Grief & Bliss beforehand, but with this EP I can happily say more worries were for not as “Endeavor” is so much what every -gaze record should be and what many strive to sound like.
With but four tracks to its name, “Endeavor” gives us a nice sample as to what this one-man band out of California can accomplish, and it’s by no means something to scoff at! Blackgaze has the problem of being too artsy from time to time, but Grief & Bliss manages to find a happy middle ground and bring not only plenty of black metal to the final mix but also tasteful amounts of melancholic tunes, a gripping atmosphere, and a voice that many would consider unorthodox for blackgaze yet it still works out beautifully in the end. Each song from “Endeavor” has its own pulse as well as its own emotions and a terrific sense of pacing as you never feel like you’re listening to the same exact thing over and over again. Instead, Grief & Bliss allows you to experience a greater piece as a whole yet each song makes up one wave as you’re constantly being swept by tidal waves that are overflowing with not only emotion but an immaculate sense of musicianship that makes me applaud both “Endeavor” and Grief & Bliss even more given how it’s all created by a single man with great ambition. Everything encapsulates a remarkable understanding of loneliness, solitude, and the bluer emotions that we all know in some capacity, and Grief & Bliss manages to add a whole new layer to it with his music as we get the edge of black metal but also a calmer approach in the vocals department that adds a glorious contrast that simply brings “Endeavor” to a whole new level.
Blackgaze is an incredibly simple thing to try and imagine as well as sum up in words, but, as with all music, it’s very difficult to execute correctly because of all the different factors that you have to take into account whilst in the creation process. To say that Grief & Bliss accomplished what many others have failed at would be an understatement. Not only does this man create a successful blackgaze album that’s no less than pristine he also shows that there’s still much room for changes that can be made to enhance the sound and feel of the genre even more, and “Endeavor” is the perfect vessel to convey such a message.
“Endeavor” releases on September 15th via Transcending Records! You can listen to the entirety of “Endeavor” on Bandcamp here.
- A Passing Moment
- Still Waiting
- When It Rains It Pours
- The Stars Also Die