All Ends

A Road To Depression

Written by: TL on 21/12/2010 15:10:17

Most of the time, a reviewer's job is fairly simple: Recognize what a band is trying to do with an album, assess how well they accomplish it, and try to communicate to your readers who should be interested and why. It makes for merry going most of the time, but then there are of course times when records come along that simply make your toes cringe, and your job becomes one of swinging the executioner's axe. This is never particulary enjoyable business, so one can only hope to do it with quickness and precision. In this review, this duty falls upon me, so let's see how I fare, shall we?

First however, what is it that needs to be axed? That would be "A Road To Depression", the second LP from Swedish pseudo-metallers All Ends. The band initially started as a side project of the In Flames guitarists Björn Gelotte and Jesper Strömblad, but both have stopped playing with the band since its beginning, as has singer Emma Gelotte. In its current manifestation, All Ends field two other guitarists, a drummer, a bassist and two female singers. That last part comes as a surprise to me, given that the two vocalists sound so similar that it is often very hard to tell where one stops singing and another begins, and you could be forgiven for thinking that one singer was actually in the lead, while the other merely provided backing vocals in chorus sections. Not that this is very important though, because in all honest, All Ends deserve the axe either way, and here's why:

If I was to point out the perfect example of how to NOT write an interesting rock/metal album, this would fit the bill. Every song follows the same old lame pop formula, and is driven by soulless riffs and contrived solos. Rely on almost every song to start out pseudo-heavy, then rise for a melodic chorus, repeat steps one and two, give room for pointless solo-wankery in the bridge, and then end with another shot of the chorus. Moreover, the lyrics are fuckin' terrible - Exactly the kind of un-eloquent anti-poetry teenage girls should keep locked up in their diaries. Just listen to the 'intimate' ballad "Nobody's Story" and the self-righteous "Stupid People". 'Nauseating' is a proper word for their description.

And the worst thing is that this record doesn't even sound amateurish. The players can obviously play, the singers can in fact sing, and the production is shiny. And still it only goes to show that making music is only fifty percent ability. The other fifty percent has to come from vision, and of this, All Ends have absolutely none. Judging from this excuse for an album, the band is entirely content with producing dumbed down mediocrity, in exchange for the money of the ignorant and the easily impressionable - And so it seems, are Nuclear Blast and Sony Music, both having happily inked deals with All Ends.

So then, a poorly veiled pass at the easy money, and one that the involved parties are likely to get away with as well. As for critical acclaim however, this is not even in the right universe, and I'm here to blow the whistle. You can sprinkle all the glitter on it that you want, but a pile of shit is ultimately still going to stink, and someone should be just as ashamed for having wasted effort on recording such pointless garbage, as others should be if they actually listen to it, let alone buy it. A road to depression would indeed be paved with records like this, and in my opinion, rock fans should be too cultured to care for it.


Download: don't even think about it
For The Fans Of: Celina Ree, Ana Johnsson, Sick Puppies

Release Date 15.10.2010
Nuclear Blast / Sony Music

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