ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – End Of Suffering (International Death Cult)

This is the third album the former Gallows frontman has made with his latest band The Rattlesnakes, and one which shows a new maturity to his sound.

It moves away from the angry hardcore of 2015’s Blossom and 2017’s Modern Ruin, and it’s almost like Frank Carter finds himself at a crossroads, and doesn’t know which way to turn.

The brooding Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider eases us in gently, and things start to open up on second track Tyrant Lizard King, featuring Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave), with the guitars getting a little bit heavier.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Pic: Daniel Alexander-Harris.

But, what’s this, Heartbreaker, the third track in, sounds like Queens Of The Stone Age, though there’s a welcome return to type with Crowbar, the shortest, most visceral and best song on the album. It’s no surprise it was chosen as the lead track.

Kitty Sucker is another standout moment, as Carter snarls: “I’m a punk rock renegade, tattooed motherfucker, dripping lust for a decade, and you are my punk rock queen, champagne bleach blonde laser beam.”

The song contains some great dirty riffing, of the sort guaranteed to get the moshpit bouncing.

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes performing live. Pic: Sue Welford.

But elsewhere, Carter seems uncertain whether to give us more of the angry sloganeering of the first two Rattlesnakes albums, or venture back into anthemic indie rock like his post-Gallows project Pure Love, and ends up falling somewhere in between.

End Of Suffering – named after the Buddhist term for enlightenment – tackles some weighty subject matter, not least on Anxiety, which addresses depression – something Carter admits he has suffered.

So while it’s certainly not a bad album, I’d class most of it as alternative rock rather than punk.

It’ll be interesting to see which fork in the road Frank Carter takes next. I know which one I’d prefer. 6/10.

Gary Welford owner