Out of the darkest pain can sometimes come a glimmer of hope. So it is with ‘End Of Suffering’, Frank Carter’s third album as a Rattlesnake. This time around, nothing is concealed and everything is revealed, his heart not so much worn on his sleeve as it is presented on a platter for all the world to see. In a genre that has bathed in toxic masculinity too often in the past, this record steers completely in the opposite direction and is infinitely more powerful for it.
With clear resemblances throughout to another famously dark third album, this could well become ‘The Holy Bible’ for a whole new generation. When Frank sings “Head in the noose, this is where I lose it all” on the raw open wound of ‘Angel Wings’, there is a chilling glimpse of what to be at rock bottom truly means. Stripping away the usual rock star veneer, he reveals very human fragilities and anxieties.
However, if that symbolises the bleak darkness at the heart of the record, then it is surrounded by moments of purest optimism. Those two sentiments represent a never-ending battle beginning from the opening ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’ (“When I’m high, I’m in heaven/When I’m in low, I’m in hell”) and echoes through it all. ‘Heartbreaker’ may find Carter being saved by love, but ‘Love Games’ finds him wallowing in self-misery.
Given musical space by the rest of the Rattlesnakes, Carter’s vocals stand out clear and true - a purity within them carrying an added weight and strength. But there is still plenty of room for mindless fun, ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ bringing in Tom Morello for the sonic equivalent of Godzilla stomping all over Tokyo. Overall though, it is the emotional pulse of a man fighting his way onwards and upwards to true enlightenment that will resound the loudest and for the longest time.