Power metal debut releases have been a dime a dozen the last couple of years, and it gets harder and harder to pick out the exceptional acts as the scene grows more and more crowded. Slovakia, on the other hand, is a nation that doesn’t get a whole lot of press, and as always I have a good measure of respect for a self-produced metal band that sticks their neck (and their debut album) out for the world to take a hack at. Unfortunately, just being from a remarkably small country that hasn’t made its mark on the metal map doesn’t earn you a whole lot of points on its own. Luckily, Endless Main have a reasonable amount of seasoning to back themselves up.
While Sea Of Lies is fast-paced and not without a substantial helping of melody, Endless Main has tweaked the typical melodic power metal formula with a darker, more aggressive sound for this record. Frequently resorting to group choruses and a thudding, pummeling drum and guitar combination, These Slovakians remind me of Primal Fear or Dark At Dawn occasionally, but without some of the raw power. The attitude of Sea Of Lies changes as the album progresses. Different vocal techniques and a variance of dynamics and texture can be construed as either inconsistency or an admirable dose of variety. I find this tendency to be somewhere in between. This is, after all, only a debut album, and their effort to bridge gaps is an exercise in creativity for them.
“Angels And Demons” is probably my favorite track on this relatively short full-length album, and I believe it best illustrates the strengths and memorability that Endless Main is capable of. While generally unremarkable, there is considerable talent to be found in most of the band’s music. The guitars are clearly proficient and tend to run free. While I enjoy Michal Sepetka’s vocals, he could certainly hone his vocal chords further. Finally, I’d really enjoy more bass, since the instrument seems to be all but invisible throughout the cd.
Recommended for those of us who are constantly sniffing out new work, and for those hoping for power metal with a bit of a darker edge. However, Endless Main have a little ways to go when it comes to offering something truly memorable for everyone to enjoy.