When I was sent the promo for a doom metal record featuring members of Monarch and Year Of No Light I immediately felt whiplash as I scrolled through my inbox. It didn't seem possible that two of the best doom bands from France could unite to form another amazing group, yet they did. Endless Floods is far more ponderous than either of their antecedents. They draw out sizeable riffs into a pair of nearly twenty minute long masterworks, proving they are not only one of the most interesting bands in doom right now but seem capable of driving this entire genre to a whole new level.
The Bordeaux bashers unveil with every passing chord a sense of sonic devastation rarely found in the modern doom world, layering it against a shocking and almost primal beauty. This is what doom metal should be about: transcendence, triumph, and a notion of cathartic realms of darkness.
Circle The Gold is fascinating because of the simple dynamic mastery the band presents. While on the one hand they revel in sweeping swells of volume and crushing power chords crashing down around your ears they are able to turn it around and craft some potent almost neofolk-esque soundscapes. None of this would be possible without some truly next level production allowing the real richness of the music to shine through and the mastery of the arrangements to have space it really needs to breathe.
That being said, at times it feels like this record takes up a bit too much space, suddenly the pacing seems a bit too dreary and gets a little bit stuck up its own ass. This is the first effort and kinks still need to be worked out. Even in the most chilled out moments though one can feel the pulse, the still beating heart of what promises to evolve into a truly great band. This is a group who are unafraid to push extremes and make you revel in sheer emptiness, but if you aren't ready for that you might find yourself starting to wander off.
There are some really amazing and weird melodies emanating out of the madness of Endless Floods work. Circle The Gold at times feels like an extended oceanic odyssey, riding on the tides, a victim of the elements, or in this case pure volume. You find yourself navigating strange arrangements and unable to turn away from what has been crafted. This is a fascinating record and one that is going to mesmerize you, encouraging you to spin again and again. Endless Floods may not have nailed their formula down here but they have certainly gotten damn close. The more they are able to trim the fat and push towards bold new heights the more it will become obvious that the French doom metal scene is in ascension and Endless Floods are amongst the proud heralds of the movement.