Album Review: The Browning – End Of Existence (Spinefarm Records)

The Browning will release their brand-new album, End of Existence, on December 3rd, 2021 via Spinefarm Records.

The Browning have been inching towards this album and this moment since their inception. The band emerged in 2011 with Burn This World. Following the success of Hypernova (2013) and Isolation (2016), they delivered Geist in 2018. Not only did it rack up over 20 million-plus streams and counting, but it also picked up acclaim worldwide.

Along the way, they toured with everyone from Chelsea Grin and We Came As Romans to Fear Factory and Static-X. The global COVID-19 pandemic tabled the band’s touring plans so McBee focused on his next creative and personal chapters. He built a tiny house for his wife and newborn daughter and cooked up End of Existence at home. Over the course of the ensuing year, he took advantage of the extra time to perfect it, playing every instrument, and producing. He effectively bottled the band’s signature live intensity in the studio and on End of Existence.

McBee described the new album:

To me, the music sounded doomy, dystopian, and apocalyptic. The Browning has always had that tone, but it’s even more prevalent now. Early on, I knew I was going to write the heaviest Browning body of work there was. I needed a theme to fit the heaviness and darkness of the music though. Since I was really happy in my personal life, it had to have a fictional plot. For me, this was about creating a universe.

…and a universe is what he has created. A dark, devastated and dying universe. End of Existence is a cold and harsh listen, easily The Browning’s heaviest and most intense work to date. The effects that are so prevalent in the opening title track only enhance the savage slamming of instrumentation and do little to ease the guttural roars, screams and vitriol that comes from the vocals. A head-smashing and gut-punching start.

That was but the appetiser though and The Browning have a fair bit more for you to choke down.

With a tempo increase, Destroyer comes along with some serious force. The effects are jarring as hell here but they fit the chaotic tone of the track overall. Anticendency has more melody but is still dripping in bleak vibes, Gott ist Tot is one of the most threatening, yet rhythmically pleasing, sounding tracks on the album and Torment proves to be an apt title. As, tone wise, it proves to be a maelstrom of ill-feeling and harsh, heavy bursts.

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The halfway point sees the synth-heavy first half of Cataclysm give way to grinding guitars, crunching drums and cinematic flair. A spectacular instrumental that refreshes the mind, ready for the second half which kicks off in explosive fashion with Rage and Chaos Reigns. The unbridled aggression of both tracks sear through the brain matter. Before No Man Can Become a God gives us epic, cinematic melodies with the expected meanness and meatiness. A stunner of a track.

Still alive? Brain still in one piece? The Browning will make sure it won’t be come the end. Death Wrap’s straight-forward battering and Prophecy’s complexities might be yin and yang but it’s The Browning so both are beastly to the ears.

The end then comes in defiantly destructive fashion as Fearless showcases some really clean singing, foot-tapping melody and of course, crushing metal brutality. A hilariously catchy finale to an album that is surprisingly accessible even though it is one of the heaviest records released this year.

The Browning – End of Existence Full Track Listing:

1. End Of Existence
2. Destroyer
3. Anticendency
4. Gott ist Tot
5. Torment
6. Cataclysm
7. Rage
8. Chaos Reigns
9. No Man Can Become a God
10. Death Warp
11. Prophecy
12. Fearless




Links

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The Browning - End Of Existence (Spinefarm Records)
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