Published May 01, 2019Although he gained notoriety as the hyper-aggressive frontman of UK hardcore act Gallows, Frank Carter has softened his musical output considerably in the last few years. His project Pure Love was a jarring shift to alt-rock from the Black Flag-worshipping punk made by Gallows, while Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes' first two albums leaned into heavier rock sounds that came close to a middle ground between the two. Their third album, End of Suffering, feels less like a compromise between two sounds and more like a cohesive band.
Opening track "Why A Butterfly Can't Love A Spider" is a bit of a slow start, but "Tyrant Lizard King" (featuring Tom Morello) kicks the pace up a bit with a dirty fuzz-rock jam. There aren't a lot of moments where Carter dives into his punk side, but when the band write upbeat songs like "Crowbar" or "Kitty Sucker," it becomes more apparent the vocalist is at ease with his singing voice, and doesn't need to shred his vocal cords anymore.
The band are at their best when they build from a simple fuzz rock riff, like the spectacular downtempo stomp on "Love Games," complemented by an underlying piano, or the skittering main riff on "Little Devil." Their momentum falls off a bit on the more alt-rock oriented songs, like "Angel Wings" or "Supervillain" though, simply because there isn't enough going on to maintain attention.
While it was initially disappointing to see Carter move away from the hardcore scene, his transition to rock feels more natural and worthwhile as time passes. The vocalist was a perfect match for hardcore punk at a younger age, but as he's matured and built a band with the same mentality, his presence in rock has fully bloomed. (International Death Cult)