This is the debut album from Endless Voyage X, a black metal band from the US.
Here we have 34 minutes of music that takes a second wave black metal base and builds on it with additional melody and atmosphere.
Taking both a melodic and atmospheric black metal approach to the core of their sound, Endless Voyage X show a predilection for mood and feeling over raw visceral attack. Elements of mournful doom metal can also be heard here and there, sometimes when the band slow the pace, and sometimes in some of the forlorn melodies employed; the lead guitars are a definite asset to the band. Keyboards further enhance the depth the music has, adding layers of extra darkness as and when necessary.
The vocals primarily consist of harsh screams, although these are occasionally aided by other styles, such as growls and spoken word. The songs are concise and well-written, favouring a focused approach to songwriting. Generally speaking, the length of melodic/atmospheric black metal songs can easily creep up, but here everything is kept under strict control. All of the various elements present in the songs work with each other to forge coherent, enjoyable music that’s easy to listen to and flows very well.
Opaque is an album that’s very easy to like. It’s a quality release that doesn’t outstay its welcome, and works effectively to build blackened soundscapes that are quite immersive.
A recommended listen.