A realm of darkness awaits. France’s cathartic doom specialists Endless Floods formed in 2015 in Bordeaux around Stephane Miollan (Monarch, Bombardement), Benjamin Sablon (Bombardement, Shock) and Simon Bédy. With “no boundaries in heaviness” as a motto, they raise a prodigiously thick wall of sound by blending doom and sludge aesthetics with mind-expanding ambient metal structures. A sorrowful procession arising from the limbo…
The trio released their self-titled debut in 2015, then quickly returned with their sophomore full-length “II” in January 2017 (Dry Cough Records/Fvtvrecordings/Breathe Plastic). This minimalist, drone-sounding assault saw the band digging deeper within the realm of bleakness they created on “Endless Floods”.
New album “Circle The Gold” results from a year-long reassessment among the trio and symbolises a fresh start in their creative process. Over the span of 40 minutes and two songs, it sees the band evolve towards a more melodic aspect of their sound. It will be released on February 15th 2019 via Fvtvrecordings and Bigoût Records.
It takes a brave and confident band no matter the genre to release an album that is just two songs. Two songs that when combined come to nearly 40 minutes. The first, the title track, is the shorter of the two at just 18-odd minutes long.
There’s no shortage of imagination with Endless Floods as they take us into their realm of slushy ambience/layered doom. The slow and moody rhythm is maddening in its monotonous approach. You’re on edge as you desperately wait to see what comes next, like witnessing a pile-up on the motorway. It’s horrifying but you just can’t turn away.
It’s a unique listen. There truly isn’t a lot out there that take on this kind of minimalist approach and at times you can kind of see why. The middle portion of the title track is near silence except the odd thump and ting of the drums and the whispered strum of a guitar. This goes on for quite a while. A long while. Way past the point of boredom.
When it finally does come back up, it’s a lot harsher and heavier with the guitars dripping in feedback. It’s a breathless final few minutes.
The second track, Seeds comes in at 21 minutes. Beginning with molasses covered doom, the tempo is as slow and dark as you’d expect and hope. Here the vocals add an even deeper depth to the track when they pop up. The gruff shouts sitting uncomfortably at the back of the uncultured beat.
Seeds sticks to a heavier sound and even dares to up the tempo just a tiny bit. Of course it’s short-lived as Endless Floods follows a similar path to the title track by disappearing into near silence except for the rhythm tap of a drum. It would be very annoying if it wasn’t for these occasional extra hits that break up the monotony. Still, it also goes on for far too long.
Intensity is the name of the game for the latter part of the track though. Ensuring you’re left with a good if not depressed feeling about the album as a whole.
An intriguing and imaginative listen that gets a lot of things right but also a few things wrong.
Endless Floods – Circle the Gold Full Track Listing:
1. Circle the Gold
Endless Floods - Circle The Gold (Fvtvrecordings/Bigoût Records)
The Final Score - 6/10