Album: Only the End – EP
After the release of their cataclysmic, crushing and emotionally wrenching journey, Ruin, Eavesdropper fell off the grid—re-emerging only as needed with the occasional single or post via social media. It seemed as if the band had reached the end of their road, exploding into an immense, immolating ball of flame—figuring it better to burn out than fade away. It looked as if the band had hit the end of the rope until very recently.
It seems as though the end we had thought we’d witnessed with Ruin was, in some ways, just the beginning.
Enter the band’s late entry into the over-stuffed melting pot of magnificent music that is 2017; Only the End, where Eavesdropper strike back with the same catchy, cynical, tongue-in-cheek lyricism and snide, sinister attitude atop a groovy, crushing instrumental canvas that made their previous efforts so intense and invigorating. A short, sweet example of sonic bliss, ringing refreshingly through the clutter of sound-the-same nu-metal infused metalcore releases that have practically oversaturated the year as it is, Only the End is bound to light a hefty fire in the listener’s heart, using it’s paltry less-than-ten-minute run time to remind the listener that Eavesdropper are still among the most unique, energetic, enigmatic and enthusiastic bands doing what they do.
Only the End takes Eavesdropper like we knew them on their debut effort, as well as their critically acclaimed full-length record, Ruin and adds two distinct, brilliant elements into the mix that make the band’s latest effort engaging, different—but familiar. First and foremost, the band is much more blunt and relentless—this is especially true on “Feeding It,” where the percussion and murderous guitar work in tandem to unleash hell on the listener’s unsuspecting head. Meanwhile, the second thing makes itself more apparent in the brief interlude “Loading,” or the final track, “Pill.” Here, Eavesdropper include subtle, somewhat industrial touches to their songs, giving a vaguely alt-metal feel to their otherwise groovy, gut-slitting and volatile approach to metalcore. “Pill” does this especially well, oscillating between haunting, eerie segments to brash and brazen moments of riff-lead fury—much thanks to Petruzzi’s quick fingers and scathing work behind the fretboard. Where “Feeding It” is a more obtuse and jarring example of brutality and “Pill” is ever slightly more subtle, “Only the End” kicks off the release—continuing the notion that Eavesdropper’s end is really just a new start—and uses an equal measure of murderous aggression and magnificent, catchy song structure to entrance the listener, keeping them distracted while merrily leading their ears to a demise-by-devastating-breakdown-esque fate. The group are as groovy as ever, and even on three short tracks, their instrumental versatility and musicianship are evolved far beyond the likes of Ruin or “Wormgod” could have even hinted at.
Then, there comes the harsh brays and blistering yells from frontman Logan Beaver, who remains the ideal voice to match the shrill, unfiltered feel of Eavesdropper’s musical dynamic. Every song on Only the End sees Beaver doing what he does best, moving even further outside of his comfort zone to capture new ways to inflict discomfort upon the listener. Songs like “Feeding It” see him, much like the band’s musicianship, more blunt and unrestrained. Then, “Pill” is a more taciturn example of his dynamism, using a variety of styles and (as always) top-notch lyrical content to keep the listener absolutely hooked on every line. Reminiscent of the Colin Sharkey Barrier days, but still distinctly very much his own vocalist when It comes to establishing a unique rapport with Eavesdropper’s equally unique instrumentation, Beaver’s vocals and witty lyrics are brilliant to a point where fans of the band’s previous work—and heavy music as a whole—truly won’t have realized how much they missed his voice until they hear it on Only the End.
Only the End is a short release, so there really isn’t a reason to beat around the bush with this review: it’s really goddamn good. While more content would have been nice, there’s a snarky heir about the release that makes it feel as though we’re lucky to get anything at all—and honestly, that makes it even more enjoyable; kind of like you’re getting a gimpse at something you were never really supposed to see or hear. Eavesdropper are excellent songwriters and musicians, and, brevity be damned, every second of Only the End exists just to rub that in your face. While many seem already set on their albums and EPs of the year, Eavesdropper’s late offering to 2017 urge many to not count their chickens quite yet.
For Fans Of: Barrier, Yuth Forever, Darke Complex, Desolate, Devthbed.
By: Connor Welsh