End Of Level Boss Eklectric

End Of Level Boss Eklectric
London, UK-based End of Level Boss return with their third full-length and a member shift ― the rhythm section was overhauled, adding ex-Akercocke bassist Peter Theobalds and Scottish drummer Neil Mackay Grant. The mammoth volume cultivated on 2007's Inside the Difference Engine is pushed to the background and the only cut that retains the Kyuss/Monster Magnet nod of past albums ― namely, EoLB's richly EBow-ed chords ― is the staggeringly magnificent "Thee Absurd," bubbling forth with infectious grooves reminiscent of Helmet covering Six Feet Under's "Lycanthropy." Eklectric is aptly titled, as founding guitarist/vocalist Harry "Heck" Armstrong moves the band's sound further away from the stoner rock scene and his Hangnail roots. "If Not All" boasts ample King Crimson-like chord repetition, while "As the Earth Forgets Us" and "This is Not the Way it Was" undergo multiple tempo changes as Theobalds and Grant anchor each riff and fill, respectively. "Senescence" eagerly gives chase like old Beats the Hell Out of Me, though Armstrong strains vocally to keep up amid the coruscating riffs. "Blueshift" gives the band some Tool-like breathing room and Grant's scintillating shuffle between snare, toms and cymbal bells is especially refreshing. "Red Grey Eye" spotlights Grant's maniacally inventive fills and Armstrong keeps the difficult "Mouth of Hats" from becoming an asymmetrical train wreck. As Theobalds and Grant transition deeper into the group hegemony, the band's new identity blossoms exponentially, growing upon the listener with every spin. Eklectric is challenging, to be sure, but without a doubt it's one of the most original and creative metal albums of the year. (Exile on Mainstream)