Album: By the End of This, It Will All Be Chrome – EP
Growing up is a weird phenomenon. In many ways, it is a unique experience—my experiences were likely not yours (unless yours included getting called “four eyes” and locked in a plastic playhouse at 7 years old), and your experiences were likely not mine…at least not exactly. We all face a certain amount of unique stressors and challenges meant to push us to grow and mature, but the lesson is pretty standard to every person. Almost everyone can point to an experience in adolescence and, whether it was high school in Michigan or 8th grade in Nebraska, yeah, that was the time we learned about heartbreak. Or about skipping class. Or about rollerblading through a plate glass window (that one might not be universal). Many of us take different routes to reach the same conclusions. So when last we left Michigan metalcore outfit Endeavors, they were a manic young group of miscreants hellbent on expressing juvenile heartbreak and aggression—and damn, they did it well—but that was what, 5 years ago? Maybe more? In the interim, things have changed—hormones have settled, time has turned fresh wounds into flesh-colored scars, so on and so forth—and what tells that story is By the End of This, It Will All Be Chrome. Spoiler alert: Endeavors aren’t the same kids that brought us “XO” or “Bloodvvolf,” but that’s fine. They have grown, and in some senses, they’ve grown predictably (a little less chuggy, a little more atmospheric)—but for the most part, the “new” Endeavors is a warped and seasoned development from the band Southern Michigan knows and loves—and don’t worry, you’ll still love them just as much.
Instrumentally, By the End of This, It Will All Be Chrome is familiar to Endeavors’ previous work in many ways—it remains defined by jarring, spastic breakdowns that hammer away at the listener’s psyche, with moments of groovy, dissonant and dreary atmosphere to punctuate the release. With that said, there is a newfound respect for ethereality and gloom to be found throughout Endeavors’ 2019 comeback. Take, for example, the introductory cut, “HUSH.” Here, Endeavors build from a mild heat to a scathing boil over the course of four tedious minutes, with modest drums becoming roaring, and scant fretwork blossoming into an all-out assault. This is characteristic of the release, a newfound respect for verses that stray from the raw, chaotic energy that defined yesteryears’ Endeavors, and something a little more melancholic and moody. “___________” is another good example of this element of By the End of This…, whereas the closing number, “Only Here for the Hurt (Welcome to the Church)” shoots that notion in the foot, closing with what the kids these days are calling a straight-up banger. Instrumentally the band are excellently balanced—moreso than they ever have been, in all honesty—and while some of the nostalgic angst has fallen by the wayside, there is a newfound emphasis on a more “grown-up” type of despair.
By the End of This, It Will All Be Chrome follows the same footsteps the instrumentation took when it comes to the band’s vocal elements. Endeavors’ raw, throat-shredding screams still appear plentifully throughout the record, however they now share center stage with eerie croons and goosebump-raising cleanly sung segments. “HUSH” is another great example of this, as a song with a predominantly sung vocal structure. If, however, you find yourself listening to “HUSH” and getting cold feed going into By the End of This…, you should know that the song isn’t archetypal of the release because the release doesn’t follow a predictable pattern on the vocal front. Each song features from mixture of the band’s varied vocal styles, and the side to which the scale is tipped varies in extent. The band’s vocal element may give some of the band’s old-head fan base a little bit of a scare, but rest assured, within By the End of This…, there is still an abundance of ruthlessness to find oneself lost in.
Endeavors could have taken the easy way out—or back in—and just made a cookie-cutter release that appeased those longing for a “Thomas” 2.0. They didn’t. They chose to take their experiences from the last half-decade and use them to refine their sound into something different. It doesn’t have the same raw, hectic sex appeal that their back-catalog has, but it has something much more original and intimate—something catchy, creative and crushing in more ways than one. In a year where we’ve already seen outstanding comebacks and dismal comebacks, Endeavors’ is much closer to the first mentioned than the latter, creating a fresh spin on metalcore that will give listeners something to find themselves adrift within.
For Fans Of: Of Virtue, Ground Tracer, Sworn In, Coffin Talk
By: Connor Welsh