The End (CAN)
Elementary


1.5
very poor

Review

by GibTG USER (4 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2010 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Change for the wrong reasons.

Mainstream society has high expectations and when they are not meet, it's not easy for many to cope. Unconventional thinking is usually met with harsh criticism and rebuttal. Cultural, social, and musical issues remain because society is so resistant to change. Even those that are supposed to be on the same side of the fight frequently can't see past the stigma of the masses. Many African Americans didn't agree with Martin Luther King Jr's peaceful approach to civil activism, many woman didn't believe in Elizabeth Cady Stanton's suffrage movement, and even the own members of the The End didn't believe in their own, unique style of music that they once played - they succumb to the pressures to change their sound to appeal to a larger volume of listeners and paid the price.

To start, The End's debut release, Transfer Trachea Reverberations From Point: False Omniscient, even though it had a terrible name had a wonderful mathy-metallic sound. The band had a sound of their own, with a delicate balance of aggression, melody, and weirdness that made for an interesting listen. The jazz-influenced instrumental breaks and flamboyant percussion were original, short of only subtle differences from The Dillinger Escape Plan, who quickly evolved their sound on Miss Machine, leaving The End as one of the few flourishing bands with hardcore vocals, a quality dual mathy-guitar attack, and jazz influence. This obviously wasn't a good enough starting point though since The End would go on to give a lackluster effort with their first full-length Within Dividia that suffered from forced brutality and repetitive riffing. Then in February 2007 Relapse records released Elementary, which marked an even more significant transformation of their original sound, a hardly bearable one.

The instrumentation on Elementary gives flashes of its former self, but its degradation is inexcusable. Some of the riffs here aren't far removed from something you'd here on a Nickelback album, a few up the ante somewhat but largely the dual-guitar attack is uninspiring. The alternative rock riffs and simple chord progressions show nothing of this band's potential and scream of wanted acceptance. The only audible bass tone in most of the album is the slight percussive sound of the picking, otherwise it goes largely unnoticed. The bass lines are ridiculously simple and pale in comparison to some of the interesting and fast-paced grooves found in Transfer Trachea. Elementary's rhythm section in general is ironically and achingly just that, when the band is in pop-song mode (which is just one of its several musical identities), the rhythm section hides behind slow and droning guitar chords and a supposed varied vocal attack. When the percussion picks up the pace or actually performs a fill it just contributes to the mess and the band's identity crisis. Blast beats are sent off course by clean vocals, and challenging beats are met with generic breakdowns to the point where the band only sounds obnoxious rather than varied or diverse.

As much as I would like to appreciate the improved lyrical content of Aaron Wolfe's vocals their delivery within the band's disorder is their downfall. A mixture of clean, harsh, and down-tuned vocals only serves to enhance the band's attempted appeal to the mainstream (as if down-mixing vocals in the studio really make a more "eerie" sound). High-pitched vocals followed by brutal screams are only reminiscent of the top band on the scene rather than giving some larger sense of progression. The theme is that even if one aspect of the band's sound is attempting to be progressive, the end result can still be lackluster, and in this case it is.

As hard as I attempt to find the band doing anything right, I'm quickly reminded of how much momentum is lost while looking at the album as a whole cohesive unit. The closing track "And Always..." features a long acoustic intro that does great next to Mr. Wolfe's clean and airy vocals but this track next to the blast beats and death metal rip-off riffing in the opening of "Animals" seems horridly out of place. In the song "In Distress" there is actually more than a hint of bass and the rhythms are interesting and challenging, but yet when I relive the "poppy" opener "Dangerous" that relies heavily on production gimmicks and Tool worship I once again realize that these tracks on the same album have no grander meaning together. In other words, if you're looking for progressive elements in this supposed "progressive metal" album you're bound to be disappointed. Any progressive elements are forced, poorly executed, or conflicted with metalcore noise to the point where they serve no purpose to enhancing the band's sound.

It's a shame that a band had so much going for them had to lose sight of their original and innovative ideas. It's very possible that guitarist Andrew Hercules had realized The End's loss of direction when he surprisingly left the band in October 2007 just ahead of several major tour dates with Between the Buried and Me. The band basically hasn't been heard of since, and some of the members have dedicated themselves to side projects instead. I wish the band the best in reforming and attempting to write new and original material someday, but it's very likely that The End may just be another example of a band selling out and suffering instead of gaining recognition. It's a shame that what may very well be their final work is so far from legendary.


user ratings (262)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
GibTG
February 4th 2010


284 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

My third review and my first one even dabbing in controversy...



Please, have at it...

Phil
February 4th 2010


1473 Comments


Pop-song mode? WTF? I very much doubt it. Also, I'm pretty sure they are releasing an album this year, thus your conclusion is void.

GibTG
February 4th 2010


284 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm far from the only one that believes there is pop-influence on this album...



Not unless you have some real insider information, you're thinking of somebody else. As of late 2009 vocalist Aaron Wolfe and Sean Dooley (bass) are working on their side project "Solitary Sun." That is the only news on their website, Relapse's website, or this website from the band.



Wolfe even said recently there is no new material yet.

Phil
February 4th 2010


1473 Comments


Oh, I musta misread the article. My mistake.

GibTG
February 4th 2010


284 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Hooray! My first neg!

Relinquished
February 4th 2010


45617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

At first I didn't see the Tool comparisons, album is good.

thomasj12e34
February 4th 2010


195 Comments


more of a rant then a review


Thor
February 4th 2010


10285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is really good

thomasj12e34
February 4th 2010


195 Comments


i prefer it to their first one

asaf
February 4th 2010


952 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll have to admit, I was looking forward to this release when it was coming out after I dusted off Within Dividia in my collection a few years back, and I was disappointed. It was ok, and it wasn't what I was really expecting. I wanted a progression from their heavier pummeling side than the mock "46 & 2" that is "Throwing Stones." Not necessarily the worst album ever, but it certainly was highly acclaimed by relapse when it didn't really have much to speak for.

iranscam
February 4th 2010


469 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

boring album.

CushMG15
February 4th 2010


1810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dig this album.

Burn2Burn
February 4th 2010


2374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album fucking rules.

Ulsufyring
February 4th 2010


1748 Comments


i like how you say their boring math sound was unique and call their growth as a band selling out

that's like, five levels of retarded


also, the bass is clearly audible in every single track, you're just deaf

(and also five levels of retarded)

Pebster49
February 4th 2010


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So does Tool suck because they are mainstream?

AtavanHalen
February 4th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review has to be fucking shitting me

Mordecai.
February 4th 2010


8400 Comments


Never heard of this band but this is a pretty terrible review.

Piglet
February 4th 2010


7978 Comments


Terrible is too harsh.

GibTG
February 4th 2010


284 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Anybody care to give some legitimate criticism instead of just saying "this review fuckin' sucks?"



By the way, I never referred to their "mathy" sound as boring in any way, but I do appreciate being called deaf and retarded. Go call the other guy that reviewed this album deaf and retarded too. He (Mr. Dave Young) also mentions that the bass is lost behind the over-glorified guitar work. The only time the bass is audible is if one or both of the guitars aren't being played, and like it matters the bass-work is boring as hell.



Keep bringing those negs!

Burn2Burn
February 4th 2010


2374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[img]http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj21/Yukant_Seame/u-mad1.jpg[/img]



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