Death metal is the great undead of subgenres: rising, again and again, to take revenge on the living with maximum violence. Servants of the zombie code and masters of old school brutality, Germany's ENDSEEKER have made their intent to kill again more than apparent over the last nine years. Formed in Hamburg in 2014, the quintet have swiftly built a reputation as one of European death metal's most dynamic wrecking crews.
From the aspirational evisceration of first full-length Flesh Hammer Prophecy, to Metal Blade debut The Harvest in 2019, and the widely acclaimed Mount Carcass two years later, Endseeker have cooked up such a formidable formula that their rise to glory seems almost inevitable. But like everyone else, they were stopped in their tracks by the Covid pandemic and its aftermath. As that global horrorshow fades in the rear-view, Endseeker are poised to return with their most crushing and charismatic album to date: Global Worming. As guitarist Ben explains, overcoming a host of new obstacles eventually led to a fruitful return to the studio.
"We played some intense, weird, strange, funny and bizarre shows during the Covid pandemic and enjoyed some almost 'normal' touring when Covid started to fade out," he recalls. "But the number of shows we could do was still quite limited, touring changed a lot, and became more expensive, and bookings were harder due to a bazillion bands trying to tour at the same time! So we slowly began to start writing new songs every now and then."
After the effusive reception received by Mount Carcass, Endseeker began the writing process for their fourth album with plenty of confidence. Before long, the creative juices began to flow to such an extent that a more formal plan of attack was required.
"At one point we decided that we need to take some time off from playing shows and completely focus on songwriting like we did for Mount Carcass," Ben notes. "So after we played our last show on October 1st 2022, in our hometown Hamburg, we totally dived into the songwriting and pre-production to make sure we had everything set for our studio time in 2023. We wanted to be as well prepared as possible."
Working once again with esteemed engineer and mixing maestro Eike Freese, Endseeker hit the studio like a nailbomb in a graveyard. The result is Global Worming - both the Germans' finest creation to date and a pulverising new template for old school death metal. These nine new songs remain rooted in Endseeker's beloved bedrock of DISMEMBER-style savagery, but from the slithering monstrosity of the opening title track and the ultra-catchy stab 'n' stomp of Hell Is Here, to the neck-wrecking madness of Our Only Life and the epic grandiloquence of closer Nemesis, Global Worming is an unusually vivid and versatile piece of work.
"I guess our main goal was to write a record that was at least as good as Mount Carcass and to follow the path we have set with that record even further," says Ben. "We wanted the songwriting to be more on point while at the same time to be a bit wider when it comes to the boundaries of the death metal genre. We wanted the songs not only to be heavy and brutal but also to have a certain atmosphere to give them real depth."
To match the punishing splendour of Global Worming's monstrous production, Ben and his bandmates - guitarist Jury, bassist Torsten, drummer Andre and vocalist Lenny - have conjured some new tales of torment. An album that determinedly reflects the horrors of the world back at us, Endseeker's new opus is unflinching in its duty to the darkness.
"Global Worming revolves around a dystopian future where zombie worms overrun our planet and eat us all until we go extinct," states Ben. "All that's left is this enormous amount of slimy, nasty, undead worms and bugs, nesting inside empty skulls and other human remains, and living their best undead life. It's the kind of classic end-of-the-world story we have in death metal! Phonetic similarities between the song title and possible real life future events that threaten our very existence are totally by chance and unintentional!"
Aside from the impending onslaught of undead invertebrates, Global Worming also delves into the relentless upheavals and pointless polarisations of the modern world. Songs like the grotesque and grinding Wheel Of Torture and the aptly-named Terror revel in the harrowing darkness of real world conflict and catastrophe. Put simply, the human race is pretty fucked up right now and Endseeker have composed the soundtrack.
"We were inspired by all sorts of shit that's going on in the world. I mean, take a look around!" Ben laughs. "There's a deep cut ripping right through our society. People are angry beyond reason. They turn towards hate and fascist ideologies. They choose the path of destruction and denial. We have a war going on in Europe. Obvious boneheads get elected. Scientists tell us for decades that we're heading straight into drastic climate change and nobody seems to care. It's wild! You can't make this crap up!"
Death metal is a serious business and Global Worming is Endseeker's most focused and sophisticated offering to date. Nonetheless, there is always room in the underground sewers for a brain-eating monster or two, and fans of zombie-centric death metal will be more than satisfied with the new album's brilliant, bloody contents.
"Not everything about this album is deadly serious!" Ben grins. "We like to goof around a lot and we love to throw around some funny clichés, and have songs about zombies and whatnot. Adulthood ends at the doorstep of the tour bus! Some of our lyrics, like C.B.V. for example, have their origin in tour bus bullshit talk after endless hours of being crammed into a fucking van and getting cooked by the sun in an awful traffic jam on the Autobahn. It all comes from those moments where you're just one tiny step away from insanity!"
Consumed in its belligerent entirety, Global Worming soon emits the acrid stench of a future classic. Endseeker have stayed true to their deathly roots, while also writing some of the most imaginative songs in their history. Supremely catchy but as brutal and ugly as the arcane gods demand, Global Worming promises to burrow under the world's skin with maximum force.
"All our albums are unique and mark a certain era in our history," Ben concludes. "Global Worming is no exception from that. It's probably our darkest and heaviest album. It probably just reflects the era we're living in. I guess we just process all of this through the music and try to turn the world's shit into something we and hopefully a lot of other people can enjoy. We're definitely super excited to see where Global Worming will carry us and what lies ahead!"