"Upwards of Endtime" (Swayingball Records; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The following paragraph appears on the Upwards of Endtime website: "Made up of x-members of the cult grind death metal band Atrocity and hardcore punk outfit Blastmat, UOE bring the collective common ground influences of Black Sabbath, Misfits and Motorhead together to create their own personal style of doom rock stoner punk heavy metal."

While that may be a pretty good description, it's not exactly the way I'd describe Upwards of Endtime and their self-titled CD. In fact, the bands they most remind me of are a couple of local Ventura County legends: Cirith Ungol and Helarage.

It's not so much that Upwards of Endtime sounds a lot like either of those bands. Cirith Ungol were on the cutting edge of metal back when it was just transforming from the Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water" licks to the galloping rhythms of Iron Maiden and Motorhead. And Helarage took inspiration from bands like Maiden and Judas Priest and made that classic sound their own. Upwards of Endtime, on the other hand, take a hint of the haunting sound of bands like the Misfits and fuse it with the fuzz-laden guitars of early Sabbath and modern stoner rock.

But what really makes Upwards of Endtime remind me of Cirith Ungol and Helarage is the band's attempt to capture the true sound of heavy metal on a recording. There's a rawness and a passion here that aren't found on many records; a trait both the local bands I mentioned shared. True, their songwriting could use a little growth and, yes, the production here is just short of awful (the sound throughout is muffled and tinny) but you can still feel the band's raw power blasting through, especially on the songs that lean more toward the classic heavy metal sound than anything the Misfits ever recorded.

Fans of "doom rock stoner punk heavy metal," or any of the sub-genres therein, will find something to like on "Upwards of Endtime."

For more information, check out http://mywebpages.comcast.net/upwardsofendtime.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:16 -0400 .