The End
Elementary

Here’s a musical transition I didn’t see coming. Canada’s The End, after an EP and two albums of Dillinger worshipping, uber complex mathcore, have settled down and spread their wings.

Though not quite as drastic as Cave In’s mid era transformation, as The End still deliver plenty of churning, technical riffs and bitter vocal patterns, but ultimately the overall results sounds more like Tool, The Deftones and even Isis than anyone else.

Take that as you will, depending on your level of interest in those two bands. But now with longer songs, more clean singing, a more cohesive, fluid approach to songs, the band is barely recognizable, except for the fact it is still high quality stuff. The End introduce you gently to their style shift with opener “Dangerous” still retaining a heaving, screaming, staggering gait, before “The Never Ever Aftermath” gives us the album’s early eye raising moment of clean vocalled, expansive rock and it passes the test. “Animal” returns to a more feral, angular, familiar style but cleverly mixes the newer more experimental yet straight forward rock style, as if to slowly expose The End’s new sound, by way of giving you some moments of heaving density to prevent shock. However, the transformation is complete for “The Moth and I” which is a full on post rock, atmospheric number and is again followed by a more traditional metal number, “Throwing Stones”, which REALLY shows the Tool influence.

The album’s continual yet subtle morphing from more urgent metal such as “My Abyss” and “In Distress” and “Awake?” to tracks like “A Fell Wind” shows a deep understanding of the bands past and present, but also a hesitancy to completely re-invent themselves fully, just yet. Although I imagine the next album will see such a full transition as shown by 9 minute orchestral laced closer “And Always” displaying the band’s Phoenix like rise from the ashes of mathcore into a more beautiful creature.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 18th, 2007

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