With their second full-length Hamburg's Endseeker have found their sound. "It's old school death metal with influences of Entombed, Dismember, Grave and other Swedish death bands, but The Harvest is probably a grown up version of Endseeker," states the band. "The chemistry in Endseeker has always been fantastic but over time we have gotten even closer together and we play much better as a unit. Everyone has found his place within the band, and we know how we work together so things fall into place more naturally." Indeed, everything on The Harvest feels natural, the songs flowing freely without being predictable, and doing the maximum amount of damage as they thunder from the speakers. "The new album provides a lot of diversity and surprises. The vocals are varied and the melodies are catchy, but it's still far away from mainstream. You can hear the influential heritage but we hopefully also added some new and relevant flavor to it."
Having made a substantial impact with their debut, 2017's Flesh Hammer Prophecy, the band found themselves sharing stages with the likes of Metal Blade label-mates Cannibal Corpse, as well as Hatebreed, Mantar, Kvelertak, and Milking The Goatmachine among others. When first thinking about following it up, as fans first they wanted to celebrate European death metal in the best possible way. "We wanted to be still the same death metal band called Endseeker, but we also wanted to evolve a little bit and not make the same record twice. We wanted to create a well rounded, diverse and exciting album, which of course remains rooted in that classic sound, but also gives some new twists to the genre." Kicking things off with the merciless "Parasite" sends a clear message that the quintet have hardened their edges since Flesh Hammer Prophecy, and that in 2019 they are hitting with more force than ever before. ""Parasite" kicks you right in the teeth and makes sure everybody gets the message of the record: the only way is forward! We wanted this record to start completely differently to Flesh Hammer Prophecy where we had this epic and melodic intro. This was planned to be brutal as fuck, and was meant to clarify that we haven't softened up yet." This ferocity is maintained across the record's nine tracks, whether this is embodied in the thrashing violence of "Spiritual Euphoria" or slower, hulking brutes such as "Cure" or "Epitome Of Decadence". Allowing a hint of melody to infiltrate the vocals of Lenny Osterhus on "Immortalized" also serves to maintain the overall intensity, adding a different tone but one that is every bit as uncompromising as his formidable growling.
The record's title was selected for multiple reasons, one of the primary ones related to how far the members of the band have come to reach this point, both as a unit and in their musical careers prior to The Harvest. "We signed the deal with Metal Blade which simply is a freaking dream coming true and we finally get the opportunity to release an album in this environment. We've all spent years of hard work, ups and downs, success, failure and everything else for our passion, and now everything has come to harvest." That the record is released in September means it is also coming out at the time of the harvest season itself, which informs many of the lyrics. "It's where nature starts to shut down. Fruits ripen, fields get mowed down, people and animals start to prepare for winter by storing stocks. It's a time of death. Leaves fall off the trees, hibernation is coming closer, the days get shorter and soon everything turns grey. It's almost magical to see how everything seemingly dies just to resurrect in spring to fulfill another whole spin. These are strong images that are closely related to our vision of death metal, nothing is as cruel and fascinating as nature, and the lyrics are based mainly - but not only - on nature topics."
Re-teaming with Flesh Hammer Prophecy producer Eike Freese (Heaven Shall Burn, Deep Purple, Gamma Ray), the album was laid down at Chameleon Studios, Hamburg, and it was a painless, pleasurable process for all. "Eike has the talent to motivate you to the best of your playing abilities without putting you under pressure. It's always a lot of fun, we popped some beers and just had a good time while the songs came more and more to life. We don't bring any tracks for re-amping that were recorded at home. We wanted to play everything in Chameleon, because it just feels different if you play stuff at home or in a studio." The band also invited Grave shredder Mika Lagrén to step in and lay down his interpretation of Marty Friedman's solo on their cover of Megadeth's "Symphony Of Destruction", which is included on the digipack version of the album. "After covering "Supposed To Rot" from Entombed and "Powder Burns" from Bolt Thrower we wanted to step out of the death metal box for this one. It was a process of throwing song titles around the room and negotiating which one would be the best choice. Someone said "What about "Symphony Of Destruction?"" And we all were like "Shit, that's cool!". I mean, who doesn't love that song? And also it's lyrically still totally up to date, a total masterpiece."
With some touring plans already locked down the band hope that with the support of their new label they will be able to travel further afield from their home country and play shows in as many destinations as possible. In the meantime, they remain simply focused on being Endseeker, and having a good time with it. "With Endseeker what you see is what you get. This is us. No bullshit, no pseudo evil stuff. We don't take ourselves too seriously. This band is about having fun with good friends, and that's what we do. We're genuine, no matter if we're rocking out on stage or enjoying some beers with you at the merch booth. We're just some next-door guys ripping some old school death metal!"