Originating from Copenhagen, Denmark, Redwood Hill have had a quiet evolution in Europe’s metal underground, having released two albums and two EPs.
Now, in what they describe as “The Final Chapter”, we see if they shall continue after this with their latest release, ‘Ender’.
Beginning with ominous wailing guitars that are reminiscent of Sunn O))) and soft padded drums, you aren’t quite sure what to expect with ‘Singularity’ as it combines progressive clean guitars with distorted bass lines that add layers to maintain a dark and forlorn atmosphere. Eventually crashing in with a dose of mellow black metal, which features Marco‘s croaking vocals that are tyrannical yet withdrawn, it makes for an odd yet not unpleasant mixture of elements.
Taking on a more direct approach, ‘No Horizons’ thrusts straight into bitter darkness with bleak roaring vocals and dissonant riffs that have a continuous and building character that, even with a background of added synths, doesn’t quite create the wall of sound that legends The Ocean or Cult Of Luna can achieve.
The following five tracks follow in similar candour, continually resorting to portions of rhythmic drums from Andreas who maintains a solid rolling core of softly pounding toms that could do with a greater impact and speed in the heavier sections to introduce variety and dexterity between tracks.
Introducing lighter elements, ‘Absence’ and ‘Collider’ buck the trend with clean guitar riffs from Toby and Brian who display more than outward furore, collectively combining with uplifting background voices to create a calming atmosphere that’s a fantastic juxtaposition against the blackened tirade.
While there are moments of creativity that come close to giving a euphoric feeling, ‘Ender’ just falls slightly short of the mark and needs ramping up of in terms of intensity and guile to add some remarkable surprises.