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Endless Void - "Final Doom" (CD/EP)

No cover art found for Endless Void - "Final Doom" CD/EP

"Final Doom" track listing:

1. Living To Die
2. New York Girl
3. Prophecy
4. Andromeda (Choir)
5. Andromeda (Orator)

Reviewed by on March 5, 2010

"'Andromeda (Choir)' is easily the best tune on the disc, and is reminiscent of 'Vol. 4'-era Sabbath — especially in the vocals, which have that creepy, just barely-in-and-out-of-tune Ozzy feel."

It's hard to fault James Owen, the founder of Endless Void, for his inspirations, if the obviously Black Sabbath-inspired "New York Girl" is any indication. That said, even the biggest doom metal fan is going to find fault with the execution of this EP, which features subpar sound quality and some genuinely sloppy playing.

James Owen definitely manages to channel Tony Iommi in the opening riff to "New York Girl," which will remind you of Sabbath standards like "Black Sabbath" and "After All (The Dead)." And there's no denying that the vocals on "Andromeda" bear an eerie similarity to 1970-era Ozzy Osbourne.

The disc's opener, "Living To Die" illustrates the problem with the disc, with time changes that are hard to follow, and aren't helped by the very tinny sound. If the sloppy playing is intentional — and there's some reason to believe it is, based on the overall skill level Owen shows on other portions of the disc — it's a bad choice to make when the sound is so muddy.

The chugging riff on "New York Girl" also suffers, as the rotten sound quality emphasizes each minor imperfection. It's a shame, too, because the song's a great slab of early 1970s doom otherwise.

The obvious drum machine sound really makes "Prophecy" hard to listen to, and Owen's vocals disappoint a bit here. Also, the guitars are pretty overpowered.

"Andromeda (Choir)" is easily the best tune on the disc, and is reminiscent of "Vol. 4"-era Sabbath — especially in the vocals, which have that creepy, just barely-in-and-out-of-tune Ozzy feel. A second version of "Andromeda," with strange droning vocals just doesn't work at all.

The poor production on this EP just about wrecks everything in its path. In this day and age, it's possible to come up with a studio-quality recording on one's home computer, so you can't really use the old "it's a demo" excuse any more. The sound is muffled and tinny throughout, making for a disc that is just hard to listen to.

As I said, I admire Owen's drive and there are moments when he does his inspirations proud. He says he's currently working on a full-length Endless Void album. Hopefully, that album maximizes the psychedelic Sabbath vibe he managed to capture in a couple tracks on "Final Doom," and jettisons the exceedingly poor production that makes this EP one to miss for all but the most fervent doom metal fans.

Highs: "New York Girl" and "Andromeda (Choir)."

Lows: Exceedingly poor production.

Bottom line: Some good doom metal moments shine through the lousy sound quality.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)