“The End of Days” is a steampunk-themed concept album from Seattle-based indie rock band Abney Park. It’s the sequel to the story of their previous album, “Lost Horizons,” wherein the band accidentally traveled back in time and caused the apocalypse. “The End of Days” is mostly concerned with the band and humanity in general, as well as picking up the pieces in the post-apocalyptic world. Songs like “Beautiful Decline” and “Neobedouin” describe what the world has come to after the end. There are glimmers of hope in the album — in “The Wrath of Fate,” an airship beset with storms, fires and traitors somehow survives everything and sails off into the sunset. But the music for the most part remains pretty damn grim.
“The End of Days” contains Abney Park’s usual blend of industrial dance and world music. The sounds of electric guitar, keyboards, drums and bass ring through, but there is also mandolin, violin and the occasional accordion. For the most part, it comes together very well, with the combination of synth and strings creating a unique sound that makes the album a pleasure to listen to. Abney Park’s tagline is “From an era that never was, but one that we wish had been,” and these songs do indeed feel like they’re coming from a weird steam-powered Victorian past that never actually happened. Songs aren’t stereotypical pop affairs; instead, they about airships and vigilantes with sword-canes and a young boy exchanging letters with his older self. If you like steampunk themes, or if you just want some music that sounds different than anything else out there, you could do a lot worse than “The End of Days.”