Dark Waters End - Submersion 01Some albums inspire a poetic muse in me which sees fit to furnish their reviews with an interesting introduction. Perhaps a mangled quote or musing on the themes they employ. Submersion did no such thing. Imagine an Ion Dissonance album stripped of gravitas and a good deal of technicality and you’re getting close to the confoundingly dull experience which it brings to the table. It has no redeeming qualities but lacks the sort of amusing displays of incompetence that would make reviewing it something other than a chore. Quite frankly, I begrudge its creators the time that I have spent with it.

There is as little payoff in Dark Waters End‘s debut as there will be for me in writing this review. Dedicated readers will trudge through this for the few morsels of respectable prose that my Skinner-box like consciousness drops out at irregular intervals, listen to the embedded, and go about their day, and the hours I have spent formulating my response to Submersion will be lost to the past. Anyone who doesn’t read AngryMetalGuy.com daily will not see this review and then continue in their blissful ignorance of this album. You can still turn back, but I have a few hundred more words. Unless you’re a completionist, I would suggest that you quickly skip to the comments and tell everyone what you think of the band photo.

The high point of Submersion is the fifth track, “Unquenchable,” a lackluster melodic affair, with guitar-bass interplay confounded by scratchy tones and a boring chorus. This is as memorable as the album gets, as the other forty-some minutes fall mostly to angular octave-chug grooves. I always enjoyed it while it lasted when listening to Submersion simply because it brought a tiny hint of variety to an album with as much personality as hastily cut sheet metal. Elsewhere, “Velocirapture1” nearly materializes a good death metal song, but somehow hangs itself up on overly busy riffing — something that often hamstrings the album.

All of this would amount to a merely bad record, but Submersion‘s overall sound truly excludes the possibility of a pleasant listen. Not only is it very, very loud and compressed, but the guitar tone fits the music like a hairshirt, and the spiritlessly shouted vocals are the little bits of wire stuck into it. Even at volumes low enough to almost entirely lose the bass, I was unable to listen to the full album without getting a headache.

Submersion feels less like an upstart young band’s troubled first release and more like a rushed application to join the Basick Records roster and get shipped off to play a 3 PM set at ArcTanGent. Built upon the tech-metalcore filler riffs of Between the Buried and Me and fleshed out with monotonous hardcore vocals, this is an album that seems allergic to emotion or effects. Its precise grooves preclude hardcore energy and its one-dimensional execution — on every level — flies in the face of the diversity of sounds and eclecticism brought to the table by the band’s most obvious influences like The Dillinger Escape Plan. For all its workmanlike precision of counting, the band can barely muster more than the simplest arithmetic and stays locked in step to a march without melody. It does not bore so much as it tires and seems to exist only to swallow time and replace it with a mild headache. I sincerely hope that the members of Dark Waters End enjoy each other’s company and find playing in this band rewarding because from the way Submersion came out, I have difficulty imagining them finding much of an audience outside of “hey-have-you-heard-this-jam-it’s-in-elven-“tech-nerds. I have found barely a whiff of enjoyable music across the album’s forty-seven minutes and am loathe to search in vain once more.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Released
Websites: darkwatersend.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/darkwatersend
Releases Worldwide: October 7th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. A song which, I am happy to report, is exactly what you hoped it would be about.
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  • John Mosley

    The only ‘core’ I enjoy is the superb Stone Temple Pilots album.

    • Name’s Dalton


      • John Mosley

        No. I prefer nü-rape. And… Done here.

  • hallowed

    Reversing shield polarity, as we speak.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle


  • Planex

    Band Photo: “Ok seriously this time guys no laughing. Seriously don’t even crack a smile this photographer is expensive.”

    • Tofu muncher

      They read this review.

      • Septic

        Assuming they do, I believe they will agree with the new t-shirt design given to them.

  • Brutal in all the wrong ways. Oh well, the read was still enjoyable as always, plus my mystical powers of future sight tell me you will get deep enjoy of next assignment.

  • The Akerstache

    I’m not bothering to go track down the lyrics for “Velocirapture” so I’m just going to assume it’s about this.


    • Kronos


    • basenjibrian

      Damn: Jesus looks like the actor Anson Mount in the series HELL ON WHEELS (Awesome, awesome series, by the way! From a couple of years back)

  • Apple Tree

    typically, “frown” isn’t the face i expect in metal band photos. the more i look at it, the funnier that photo looks

  • Septic
  • Nukenado

    Holy shit random quote banners. So glad to see HMG and Keili immortalized.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Thoughtful metal reviews and recipe exchange
      Feel the Loincloth!

      • Nukenado

        Thanks MG!

      • Nukenado

        For the recipies and the reply.

    • Kronos

      Credit goes to the ever wigilant Sentynel, our fearless sysadmin.

      • Nukenado

        I hope you guys paid him well. Don’t want to overwork the sysadmin lest the IT-man’s fury be unleashed upon the masses.

        • Sentyneli

          To be clear here, I just wrote the code that randomises the banners, I didn’t come up with them all!

          • Nukenado

            Yes, I can see plenty of comments contributed to the banners.

    • Tofu muncher

      They are all very funny. AMG is a funny site. I think I’ll stay around a bit.

      • Nukenado

        And munch tofu.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      I find the lack of spheres disturbing.

      • Nukenado


  • Thatguy

    Thanks for this , Kronos. Your review left me with nothing to do. I didn’t listen to the embedded song and others beat me to it to critique the band photo.

    I will get on with my life.

    • Kronos

      I’ll see you in tomorrow’s comments.

    • sir_c

      Maybe next time you can be that guy again

  • Midlife Chris

    “Dark waters run derp.”…first time I openly laughed before even reading the review.


    The Dirigible Escape Plan

  • Christopher

    how dare you make a BTBAM comparison with this awful trash.

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    I’m curious as to what the average band does if/when they read reviews like this, especially if they’re all negative.

    Also that cover art is… Well, it’s something I suppose.

  • sir_c

    It’s a new genre: metalchore

    • Name’s Dalton

      Metalbore. AMIRITE