Maestitium – Tale Of The Endless – Album Review

Artist: Maestitium

Album Title: Tale Of The Endless EP

Label: Black Lion Records

Date of Release: 5 February 2021

The subject of this review is another happy discovery, made via a recommendation that I am delighted to have followed up. Maestitium is the moniker of a one-man project, the highly talented Swedish musician and songwriter Elias Westrin. ‘Tale Of The Endless’ is the debut EP that Westrin has written, and upon which he sings, plays the guitar and handles the synths and orchestration. The EP also features the talents of studio musicians Anton Flodin (Deathbreed) and Nils ‘Dominator’ Fjellström (Nordjevel, ex-Dark Funeral) who handle the bass and the drums.

Although Westrin is Swedish, I immediately hear a strong Finnish influence to the epic melodic death metal on ‘Tale Of The Endless’. Insomnium are clearly the first name to pop into your head, along with a smattering of Wolfheart and others besides. The music on this debut EP might not be the most original but by heavens, it is some of the best I have heard within this genre. It is heavy and extreme but it is also incredibly melodic and immediate. In fact, the melodies are almost ever-present throughout the release, making the music sound even more epic and rousing than it would otherwise be.

That being said, the riffs are cold and frosty black metal fare when required, the drums deliver a showering of blasts and double-pedal brutality, and the gruff vocals of Westrin have enough bite to them to know that he means business. However, he also has a melodious clean delivery at times that conveys a certain mournfulness, echoed by the layers of synths that dance and weave their way through this all-too-short release. The use of acoustic guitars and quieter interludes isn’t overdone either. When they arrive, they enhance the sense of drama and power manifestly contained within the compositions, rather than dilute the intensity.

Comprised of only four songs it may be, but ‘Tale Of The Endless’ does more than enough to make us sit up and take notice. Actually, if you remove the quiet sub-two-minute intro piece, it’s only three compositions, which makes it all the more impressive just how much of an impact Westrin’s music has.

‘Morning Star’ is the first of the three metal songs and it wastes no time setting the scene for the entirety of this EP. As the guitars and drums immediately kick in, the pace is measured but the drumming is precise and commanding whilst the riffs have an effortless majesty to them, bringing an instant melody along for the ride, accented by some sombre-sounding lead notes. The mood is undeniably melancholy, but there’s a sense of grandiosity too, especially when Westrin’s clean voice enters the fray to offer a more folk-like quality to the track. The closing acoustic-embellished section is unbelievably epic, with the sound of a solemn bell in the distance for good measure. In the blink of an eye, the song is over and I’m grinning from ear to ear whilst shaking my head; is this really a debut from the mind of one man?

A gentler acoustic intro brings ‘Song Of The Freezing Wind’ to life. The synths and orchestration really soar as the rest of the instrumentation kicks in. Gruff and clean vocals duet on top of chugging riffs and elegant melody once the early grandiosity subsides. Actually, I’m not entirely sure that the grandiosity ever truly subsides, because the layers of instrumentation remain throughout, despite the apparent heaviness, darkness, or confrontational nature of the extreme metal that emanates from my speakers. If anything, this might be an even better song than the opener.

And with that, we’re on to the final song of ‘Tale Of The Endless’, which rips my face in half with easily the most ferocious drumming and fastest riffing on the EP. And yet, despite the undeniably heavy, aggressive visage, the song still manages to sound serene and effortless, created by more elegant melodies that tug at the soul. After the early flurry of intensity, there’s a short quieter interlude that then ushers in a slightly groovier, mid-tempo riff. The change of dynamics is a masterstroke, only serving to increase the sense of the epic of Maestitium’s music, as before long there’s a reprise of that insane early ferocity. Unless your heart is made of stone, you’ll start to crumble when all heaviness departs to allow a fragile piano melody to take centre stage. But never fear, because Westrin manages to rein in the emotion by returning us to a savage yet gorgeous soundscape where the coldness of blackened metal and the warmth of epic melodies converge for one final showdown.

I am so glad I listened to Maestitium because this debut EP is something I would have kicked myself for missing entirely. Without the recommendation on social media, I may have done just that, too. So, if you trust my word even just a little bit, I urge you to track down ‘Tale Of The Endless’ as soon as humanly possible. Listen to it, be impressed, and join me in waiting impatiently for a debut full-length. On the basis of this EP, that is a prospect that already has me salivating.

The Score of Much Metal: 92%

Further reviews from 2021:

Leprous – Aphelion

Night Crowned – Hädanfärd

Brainstorm – Wall Of Skulls

At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being

Rivers Of Nihil – The Work

Fractal Universe – The Impassable Horizon

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails

Thy Catafalque – Vadak

Terra Odium – Ne Plus Ultra

Hiraes – Solitary

Eye Of Purgatory – The Lighthouse

Crowne – Kings In The North

Desaster – Churches Without Saints

Helloween – Helloween

Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum

Wooden Veins – In Finitude

Plaguestorm – Purifying Fire

Drift Into Black – Patterns Of Light

Alluvial – Sarcoma

White Moth Black Butterfly – The Cost Of Dreaming – Album Review

Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen

Bloodbound – Creatures From The Dark Realm

Nahaya – Vital Alchemy

Frost* – Day And Age

Obsolete Theory – Downfall

Vola – Witness

Acolyte – Entropy

Dordeduh – Har

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever

Seth – La Morsure Du Christ

The Circle – Metamorphosis

Nordjevel – Fenriir

Vreid – Wild North West

Temtris – Ritual Warfare

Astrakhan – A Slow Ride Towards Death

Akiavel – Vae Victis

Gojira – Fortitude

Hideous Divinity – LV-426

Benthos – II

Evile – Hell Unleashed

Ninkharsag – The Dread March Of Solemn Gods

Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood

Morrigu – In Turbulence

Mother Of All – Age Of The Solipsist

Throne – Pestilent Dawn

Sweet Oblivion (Geoff Tate) – Relentless

Exanimis – Marionnettiste

Dvne – Etemen Ænka

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Arion – Vultures Die Alone

Maestitium – Tale Of The Endless

Wode – Burn In Many Mirrors

Everdawn – Cleopatra

Unflesh – Inhumation

Mourning Dawn – Dead End Euphoria

Wheel – Resident Human

Wythersake – Antiquity

Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn

Metalite – A Virtual World

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm

Ghosts Of Atlantis – 3.6.2.4

Memoriam – To The End

Aversed – Impermanent

Secret Sphere – Lifeblood

Enforced – Kill Grid

Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3

Turbulence – Frontal

Iotunn – Access All Worlds

Warrior Path – The Mad King

Stortregn – Impermanence

Mariana’s Rest – Fata Morgana

Orden Ogan – Final Days

Witherfall – Curse Of Autumn

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy

Ephemerald – Between The Glimpses Of Hope

Paranorm – Empyrean

Einherjer – North Star

Epica – Omega

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde

Simulacrum – Genesis

Forhist – Forhist

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Empyrium – Über den Sternen

Moonspell – Hermitage

Infernalizer – The Ugly Truth

Temperance – Melodies Of Green And Blue EP

Malice Divine – Malice Divine

Revulsion – Revulsion

Demon King – The Final Tyranny EP

Dragony – Viribus Unitis

Soen – Imperial

Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida

Oceana – The Pattern

Therion – Leviathan

Tribulation – Where The Gloom Becomes Sound

Asphyx – Necroceros

W.E.T. – Retransmission

Labyrinth – Welcome To The Absurd Circus

TDW – The Days The Clock Stopped

Need – Norchestrion: A Song For The End

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2020 reviews

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

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