Review Summary: An album that sounds like everybody else, and does so in a time where that certain everybody else doesn't really matter all too much anymore.
If there’s any album cover artwork that accurately represents the music within its contents, it would be the cover of The End Is Where We Begin, the latest release from persistent Christain alt. metal rockers Thousand Foot Krutch. Here we see just the bands logo alone, simplistic much like their approach, and nothing fancy like how they turned it into a mask on Welcome to the Masquerade, and the logo looks grimy, and weathered, and worn down, with smut and dust on it.
This strikingly reflects how the bands sound, which is the sound of an over-saturated genre of other identical bands, is at this point getting VERY old and tired, and used, and somewhat rusted and forgotten by the eye of mainstream music, who has turned it’s focus of angst to metalcore once the 2000’s entered the double digits in 2010.
Nu Metal seems to still be adored by Christians though, with bands like RED just recently starting to run around and what not. And why wouldn’t it be appealing? What better way to vent hardships of dealing with faith and belief on a scale as big as figuring out one’s purpose in life than to let it all out in angst-ridden aggressive metal sessions. This has worked out well for Christian bands like TFK and Skillet on past albums because while the original intention of the subject matter may be limiting to anyone outside of its religious target audience, it leaves the positive impression of staying strong and having hope in general. Which is a refreshing light in the common overkill of darkness in the whiny and self-important topics bitching about love and family issues that concerns most alt. metal bands. Most Christian metal bands also have a nice habit of adding many soaring melodies which really ups the production of their albums above that of the typical raw chugging of generic nu metal.
In the past, TFK has always shown heart-felt and personal lyrics that are confessional but are subtle in the message of faith, making them as relatable as they could possibly be, and admittedly much more intelligent to listen to than the cliche babbling of other groups. But the point here is that was in the past, and they’ve been going at it for quite some time now, so there needs to be a bit of a change up, or a freshener at this point in their career. Unfortunately, The End Is Where We Begin sees absolutely no changes for the band. This album is everything every other album they’ve put out has been, and as time progresses and nothing changes, it starts to get more apparent how much weaker, safer, and strictly formulaic the music is, and it starts to get old.
The biggest issue here is that their sound to begin with was the sound of countless other bands, but they had key factors that separated them for the pack, but now that they’ve worn down and overused what made them different, they couldn’t be more faceless, and also more irrelevant seeing as how teenagers attentions where drawn away from nu metal in 2007 and this is a record that could have been released in 2004.
This album is actually so basic, so run of the mill, and so generic, that it’s difficult to write an actual fleshed-out review of the album itself, and not an essay about how this groups into the generic pot-grunge mediocrity that dominated the early 2000’s post-korn, since one can draw so many comparisons to Linkin Park, and Taproot, and Incubus, and just due to the overall lack of substance in its insignificant nature.
This album isn’t bad, the reason it’s so frustrating, is because it’s just nothing special, it’s okay music. It’s listenable, and catchy, not a pain to listen to, but it can’t summon any strong feelings of negativity or love. It’s just another album from not even the band, but the nu metal factory assembly line. This shouldn’t be heard as a “consistent” because consistency in a good light doesn’t mean just like all the other albums, it means on par in quality, and not gradually becoming tiresome.
When die hard fans are listening to this kind of thing, they will be accepting it, and just that, just going with it, keeping in mind the bands sound overall, and drawing similarities to the sound they fell in love with from TFK and bands they sound like to justify their content with what they’ve received. But they should take a step back from that and look at what it is, how much they are getting immersed, and what there is to get immersed in, and they’ll probably find this is shallow and just average music, which isn’t terrible, it’s lesser, but not awful. This is why this shouldn’t be over-hated as well. Just because the music is average doesn’t put this on the level of terrible, it just puts it on the level of average and passable, and it should be recognized as such.
This album is just okay, and the reasons for this is because it’s outdated and you won’t hear anything off of this that you haven’t heard before, and being identical to these overused sounds leaves it not awful, something that isn’t even on par with more solid mediocrity.