The End


Written by: PP on 08/02/2007 19:21:19

It never ceases to amaze me how many incredible bands the Ontario music scene is able to produce. Be it Alexisonfire, Boys Night Out, Moneen or Cancer Bats, just about every single band I've ever heard from Ontario has almost instantly slashed their way to my favorite bands list, and The End is no exception. From the opening notes of their third album "Elementary" to the monumental acoustic finishing piece the band kept me on my toes at all times, bringing in new influences and styles in a frenzy of massive build ups, fierce vocal aggressions and soothing melodic passages that just can't leave anyone cold.

Take the opening song "Dangerous", for instance, and tell me the first band that pops into your mind when vocalist Aaron Wolf's menacing voice attacks you with lyrics you are actually able to decypher? Every Time I Die and their album "Gutter Phenomenon" is what I thought of instantly, albeit a much more complicated and progressive version. Lasting over six minutes, the track features silent passages where the guitars just seem to strum on and on and on in a seemingly neverending riff, with the lead guitar adding distant high notes as if to extend the songs breathing room. You instantly feel the song is building up towards something huge, especially when Aaron utilizes a calm, whisperous vocal approach and the lead guitar adds more and more high notes as we go along, and then the explosion arrives. Not completely unexpectedly, but it hits you like a fucking train. After three to four minutes of creeping instrumentlism, the song culminates in an eruption of raging vocals and availing guitar riffs, and I'm sold. I suddenly understand just why The End chose their second longest song as their opener. It has all the rage and the power you need to mesmerize the listener combined with the kind of complexity that'll melt the hardest music critic's hearts.

Similar songs are scattered all across the record, with some more math-rock influenced tracks like the manic Converge-style "Animal", and The Dillinger Escape Plan-esque mess of chaotic instruments and malevolent vocal work on "Awake?". But in between these raging assaults on all things melodic, are gems like "The Never Ever Aftermath". Ever heard the kind of epic fury Thrice placed on tracks like "The Earth Will Shake" or "For Miles" on their latest album "Vheissu"? The End's interpretation of that will blow you away, and that's underrating the effect this band will have on you. The song has one of the biggest buildups I've ever heard on a record, with almost the entire song slowly building towards the colossal impassionate screams "I CAN'T TAKE ANOTHER FALSE ALARM", that are delivered slowly over soothing instrumentation, that at the same time is heavy-as-fuck and stomps over you like an elephant in an antique store.

Aaron's voice reminds you of Dustin Kensrue so much that you'd be willing to swear Dustin lent a helping hand on the record. What's interesting is that while "The Moth And I" sounds like "Atlantic" from "Vheissu", it is both softer and more silent and doesn't feature as lowly tuned guitars or keyboards. Instead, Aaron's voice switches from the raging scratched assaults into a soothingly calm one, immediately reminding you of Dustin's work with Thrice. Similarly "My Abyss" sounds like Thrice on stereoids, and I could easily imagine this to be one of the directions Thrice will evolve towards on one disc of their upcoming 'four elements' quad-disc.

So with all the talk about Thrice here--whose record "Vheissu" everyone should own by now--an obvious question pops up. How does "Elementary" measure against its probably inspiration, "Vheissu"? As always, the answer will always be subjective, but even so nobody should be able to deny how exceptionally "The Never Ever Aftermath" builds up, or how the in-your-face "Animal" uses structure as a stylistic device perfectly. It's perhaps not "Vheissu", but all Thrice fans should regardless turn their eyes towards "Elementary", as it is one of the experimental hardcore records to own this year.


Download: The Never Ever Aftermath, Dangerous
For the fans of: Thrice, Every Time I Die, Converge
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.02.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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