Endorphins Lost – Seclusions Review

The first release on The Head Of Zeus Records, Seclusions is the second full-length for Pacific Northwest powerviolence outfit Endorphins Lost. If you’ve been playing along at home, Seclusions shouldn’t take you by surprise — it’s built of powerviolence, that fast-and-furious branch of hardcore that pares the metal elements away from grindcore’s hallowed chaos, although it also exhibits a more markedly metallic riff style in certain places than earlier Endorphins efforts. Most importantly, it’s a further notch along the band’s continued growth curve, better than the split with Canadian grinders Osk that precedes it, which was in turn better than Choose Your Way. And both of those were damned fine collections to start with…

So yes, Seclusions is the band’s best effort thus far, in terms of sonics, execution, and songcraft. It’s suitably violent, as the style requires, but even compared to that which came before, these songs hit harder and its hooks sink deeper.

Release date: February 16, 2019. Label: The Head Of Zeus.
Coming out strong with “Shell,” Seclusions establishes its ferocity early on, ripping through that one at a punk-ish pace that runs through a catchy ascending chord pattern into a blistering and blasting b-section. “Human Shield” flirts with an almost indie-rock tonality in its opening chords, a technique revisited in the intro to the title track, before dropping into a riffy beatdown groove, one of Seclusions’ most metallic moments. Sludgy moments entwine with the vicious hardcore of “Nothing Beyond The Fire,” the head-cracking slugfest of “Caduceus Rising,” and the appropriately sluggish middle of the doomy “At A Crawl,” before the whole of Seclusions’ twenty-one minutes wraps with the tar-caked-trudge-to-full-on-ferocity wallop of “Two Minutes Hate.” (Which is, oddly, nearly four minutes long.)

Stout without being slick, punchy without losing grit and grime, Seclusions is appropriately gnarly and biting, its production adding a certain perfectly raw-ish edge to the maelstrom within. The vocals range from deathy growl to hardcore bark, while the guitars snarl with equal anger, and the fuzzed-out bass and pounding drums kick and kick hard beneath. But mostly, though all its components are executed with skill, Seclusions succeeds by virtue of its songs, through a handful of little hooks, of riffs that poke forth, of dime-stop tempo changes that reel in the ears before kicking holes in them, of choked screams that somehow latch on like claws, and above all, of focused fury pinpointed into fourteen short blasts of aggression.

Now six weeks in, 2019 has been a little light on killer releases (feel free correct me in the comments if there’s something from January that I’ve missed), but now halfway through February, Endorphins Lost has done a hell of a job in rectifying this year’s slow start. Seclusions is a monstrous take on punky grinding power, a rager from fore to stern, and another feather in the collective cap of a young band on the upswing. New or old, rage knows no age — it’s always loud, always angry, but only in its finest minutes is it this much fun to hear.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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