Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Review: The End - “Elementary”

I think the previous outing by Canadian band The End titled “Within Dividia” was largely overlooked. Many people, as did I, saw them at first glance as being similar to Dillinger Escape Plan. A few more listens, and I discovered that “Within Dividia” was quite a bit different than standard Dillinger Escape Plan releases and subsequent clones, with a steady double bass pulse and its roaming jagged guitars. There were of course those itty-bitty moments bringing to mind the ambient moments of Neurosis, but those were mainly saved for taking a break from the action.

The first opening I heard from “Elementary” did remind me of “Within Dividia”, but much more simplified, especially when it moved from those previously mentioned double bass pulses and roaming jagged guitars, to some more easier to digest chords. Indeed, much of the signature sound of the past from The End is still present, even when they go super-light into radio rock moments (and yes, the vocals could be considered “emo” at times).

The second song “The Never Aftermath” threw me for a loop. Jangly chords, completely clean sung vocals. By radio standards, this song is still pretty heavy, and even features a moment in a break where a familiar dissonant tone comes along.

Also featured are some very Maynard James Keenan like vocal moments, as well as a lot of lighter more modern era Neurosis. How does The End pull all this off without becoming sellouts though? To an extent they do it by including some remains of the old The End in small bits and pieces of “Elementary”, but in when all is said and done this new album could be viewed as selling out. And for good reasons.

Lets be honest with ourselves, much of this is moving towards a direction of radio-rock with emo and Tool styled singing. While its difficult to say, it may just be that “Elementary” is a waypoint between their old sound, and a new one.


The End

The End At MySpace
The End At Relapse



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