01. A Eulogy On The Lips Of The Dead
02. Killing In The Month Of July
03. Lily White And Blood Red
04. Cursed Be The Blessed
06. Behind The Veil Of Tears
07. The Forsaken
08. Silently Choking On Her Regret
09. Coma Eternal
2002 Lifeforce Records
It seems that no matter how technically proficient a band is or how developed their songwriting ability, most bands are only capable of delivering one thoroughly amazing album in their career. Endthisday must have realized this when deciding to split because their debut full-length is a metal masterpiece that would have been nearly impossible to top. An amazingly played and produced string of blazing riffs and brutal breakdowns, "Sleeping Beneath The Ashes Of Creation" is a testament both to the vitality of American metal and the possibilities it holds for the future.
With each track clocking in at or around six minutes, Endthisday delivers very deliberate and complex songs that fit together like movements in a symphony of death and decay. Rather than sounding like a disjointed jumble of bits and pieces, the different parts resemble variations on a theme. The most obvious musical influence is the Scandinavian metal of groups like At The Gates, but the presence of both early American thrash and mid-90's hardcore give the disc a very distinct feel in a sea of indistinguishable metal-core.
From the beginning of "A Eulogy On The Lips Of The Dead," Endthisday hits the floor running. I waited the entire song for the cliché breakdown or sappy slow part, but it never came. Rather than cry about a lost love until you fall asleep, Endthisday pounds you into a coma, only to jar you back out ten seconds later. While I will admit the lyrical themes are typical to many recent metal and hardcore releases (love, hate and suicide), the vocal strength makes up for it. What the lyrics lack in originality, the screams, growls and moans make up for in intensity. "Killing In The Month Of July" ends with a particularly searing repetition of the line "with three chosen words / I slit my own throat" that almost burns your ears with despair. The alternation between the essential scream and the low, death-metal standard gurgle also functions particularly well on this album, because it is used very sparingly and in well-chosen places.
While I have no desire to detract from an amazing album, I must admit that the two obligatory instrumental tracks are the disc's weak points. The positive side of this is that they are both incredibly brief and do not interrupt the flow of the album's searing riffs and breakneck tempos as much as they serve as a bit of a rest for your eardrums during which you can prepare for the onslaught to continue. Nevertheless, instrumental tracks are so overdone at this point on metal-core records that I still can't help but pass them up and write them off as filler to satiate the record buying public who just isn't happy with a seven song album. This is not to say that the album is short, as each of the album's seven full tracks are from five to seven minutes apiece.
Bottom Line: This record is proof that one need not be entirely original to innovate. The successful blending of various styles and forms of metal present on this album is so entirely original that I would easily place this on my list of top albums of the year. Any fan of At The Gates or In Flames would most likely love this album, but its appeal is far broader because of its seamless integration of hardcore elements into well-played and well-written metal.