Review Summary: The Beginning of All Things to End showcases Mudvayne's talent as a band, but not so much as writers.
The Beginning of All Things to End is a re-release of Mudvayne’s first EP, Kill, I Oughta, released in 1997. After Mudvayne started gaining mainstream success the EP was selling for upwards of $200 on ebay and Mudvayne’s record label at the time, Epic, saw that as a great chance to make some money. The Beginning is a compilation of all the songs on Kill, I Oughta with two remixes of the single “Dig” from L.D. 50 and the seventeen-minute song “L.D. 50” which was broken up on their debut LP to produce the electronic interludes between songs.
The Beginning kicks off with the pointless and immature “Poop Loser,” a very short song with samples of a baby crying and arguing in the background, with Chad’s spoken vocals eventually progressing into a shout, leading into “Seed.” “Seed” gives us a sample of what to expect from Mudvayne, as it features Chad’s sporadic vocals, distorted guitar by Greg Tribbett and well-engineered time signature changes. “Cultivate” is much of the same, but even better, as the bass makes its presence even more apparent; strangely enough Ryan Martinie, Mudvayne’s future bassist is absent on the album. Instead Shawn Barclay takes the spotlight here, and while not as technical as Martinie, Shawn can play the bass.
“Some Assembly Required” is nothing different than the first couple tracks; Matt McDonough keeps impressing with his drumming; the guitar sticks close to the percussion while the bass roams freely, and Chad shouts in his unique style. But the quality of the songwriting and lyrical content start to go downhill here; a problem that persists throughout the entirety of the album. “Central Disposal,” “Coal,” and “Fear” were all recorded at a live show and surprisingly, it doesn't affect the quality of the music much at all. “Central Disposal” was starting to shape up as one of my favorites on the album until the chorus. Someone, it might be Shawn or Greg, starts shouting something like “What now" Someone!!” ...and it sounds like what I’d like to imagine a herd of llamas in a gas chamber might sound like.
“Coal” starts with an interesting guitar lick by Greg, shortly followed by vocals and then an equally unique bassline. After the drums come in, the song proceeds in the same vein as songs such as “I.D.I.O.T” and “Seed,” only to return to the experimentation mentioned before. “Fear” is nothing spectacular, with a borderline-annoying chorus and sub-par lyrics. The Remixes of “Dig” are well-produced but not as good as the original, which I might say I’m also not a big fan of. “L.D. 50” is a fun song to listen to bits and pieces of at a time, such as on L.D. 50, but as a seventeen-minute song it starts to drag horribly.
The Beginning of All Things to End is Mudvayne in the rawest form, and you can definitely tell that each member is a talented musician. The writing and production leave quite a bit to be desired, sadly, and that hinders the album. Songs such as “Cultivate,” “Seed,” and “Coal” show the bands potential and provide a glimpse as to what the band’s debut LP L.D. 50 could and would become in the not too distant future.