"Infinite Entanglement", so obviously it is time to present part 2 of this epic saga. It is an album that I have been waiting for, especially since I really enjoyed the first part, and did more so over time (if I would review it today, my rating would probably be higher than what I gave it at the time of its release). After also attending a live show in which the whole album was played, I was more than ready for the second part of the trilogy.
So obviously, "Endure And Survive" takes off where we left off in "Infinite Entanglement", with our protagonist William Black, seemingly a slave under the... what ever the bad guys are called. Anyway, William escapes his predicament, and starts his search for a safer place where he can relax and find out more about his past. Well, that is what I can get out of the album, and it is a reasonable continuation of what we were told in the first record. Nothing all too original, but interesting enough to make me invest in the album and the coming third part.
However, this is a music album after all, and it starts off strong with the title track, a classic Blaze song with a nice drive and an easy, epic, and sing along friendly chorus. That is followed by "Escape Velocity", another fast one that really gives emulates the break away that William Black is performing in the story. The third song, "Blood", is also nice, a really dark song that tells of our protagonists dark past, although I feel like the chorus here is kind of weak, not getting the impact the grim nature of the song needs.
And that is probably the key word for the album as a whole, it is weak, not utilizing its moments to its full potential. "Endure And Survive" is most certainly a calmer album, nothing wrong in that, but the song writing here just does not hit it at all, just ending up being, well, weak. Out of the slower songs, "Eating Lies" is the only one I feel is getting the emotions right, with some great guitar work by Chris Appleton, while songs like "The World Is Turning The Wrong Way" and "Together We Can Move The Sun" are just bland and boring, and "Remember" sounds like some throwback to a bistro in 1930's France. None of them adds anything useful to the album, except for some elements to the story.
The main problem ends up being that this album is not as memorable as "Infinite Entanglement". The song writing is more basic, the choruses are not as catchy, and the variety, while decent, is not anywhere near its predecessor. It is truly a shame, because I know that Blaze is putting his heart and soul into this trilogy, and the backing band Absolva helps out a lot too, but it all just miss something spectacular, something spicy, something really exciting. Fortunately, we have a few songs to lean back on, like the 4 first songs and "Dawn of The Dead Son", a song in the middle of the album that has a really nice rhythm and some cool vocal work.
So no, "Endure And Survive" does not match the quality of its predecessor, but it does serve its purpose, continuing the story to its second peak, before a grand finale that will probably be released in 2018. While this record has its weak moments, it still has some nice work in it that should not be missed, holding it just above the line of mediocrity. It is a little like the "Hangover" trilogy so far, the first one being entertaining, while the second part had more of the same, just not as good. Let us all just hope that the third part is not of the same "quality".
Songs worthy of recognition: Endure And Survive, Escape Velocity, Dawn of The Dead Son
Rating: 6/10 Bloods
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