The Very End

Vs. Life

Written by: TL on 18/12/2008 00:18:23

If there's one thing about the German rock scene I find highly likeable it is that, save for the bands that are stuck in slow time zones trying to rekindle the 80's, there seems to be a general disconcern for the pretentious unspoken rules about what can and can't be done in terms of genres. This seems to be the case with The Very End and their debut full length "Vs. Life", which I have the pleasure of reviewing.

You see The Very End seem to have gone for a rather generous pick and mix approach when building their sound, and as such we have a heavy melodeath influence similar to In Flames, only the accent of the vocals is typically German rather than Swedish, mixed with some neo-thrash like that of Trivium, except not quite as technically impressive. Add elements of nu-metal and hardrock, classic rock clean solos and riffs here and there, a growl/scream/sing combo and a modern fusionist twist alá Raunchy and you have yourself a hybrid that contains pretty much everything that's even remotely trendy for a metal band to deal in. As for trying to skim the cream off the top of the genres and bring it all together for one Godlike metal-cake, I respect the ambition for its own sake, but I must inevitably ask myself if The Very End can really succeed, not only at fusing their chimaira of a soundscape together but also at actually pulling off the stuff that makes up each of its 'heads'.

To their credit, the fusion part have come out well, as none of the songs on "Vs. Life" seem incoherent musically, and in fact, they're so smooth you might miss their multitude of styles if you aren't paying attention. When it comes to pulling off the different genres however, I'm not equally impressed. The melodeath for its part is alright, especially when it imitates the In Flames material that also leaned on nu-metal, as it is in its groove that the songs find their most convincing component, while the cleaner classic rock parts make for catchy hooks and added variety. The breakouts into thrash and metalcore aren't so well off, as the band fail to induce them with the proper weight and negativity such genres demand to shine. The thrash isn't quite mean enough, and the metalcore isn't quite heavy enough, simple as that, and that's a shame considering how these could've otherwise gone to show a truly dark side of a band with a name like The Very End, adding some needed contrast to their expression.

As a whole, I think "Vs. Life" also ends up bleeding a bit for the earlier mentioned coherency, simply because it is just bit to homogenous in its sound. Despite the myriad of styles, the songs sound remarkably similar, and none of them bring any of the elements to the spotlight nor give them the time to grow into the kind of full-fledged spectacles that would've made them really grab your attention. Aside from that though, this album is still very well done and should be enjoyable to most people with a knack for some good metal that's not all too extreme.


Download: Bleed Tomorrow, The Loss Theory, Flatline, Stabwounds
For The Fans Of: In Flames, Raunchy, Trivium

Release Date 05.12.2008
Dockyard 1 Records

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