Sound — 9
At first listen, this album might seem like a hodge-podge of heavy music styles, carelessly thrown together by a band that can't decide if they're chasing commercial success or trying to stay true to their more metallic, underground roots. Upon many more listens, I came to realize that this is a collection of diverse, well written songs filled with intensity and emotion. Transitioning effortlessly from Tool inspired melody to chaotic, blast beat fueled mayhem these five Canucks don't seem too concerned about fitting into a particular genre. The album's epic closing track, And Always, is built around a haunting guitar riff that seems inspired by lonely cowboys in old western movies. The instrumental track, A Fell Wind, is pure ambient bliss that could easily be part of a Tim Burton soundtrack.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on Elementary seem to be very metaphorical. Many of the songs are written in a vague style, which I like. Vagueness in lyrics forces the listener to ponder the true message that the song writer is trying to convey. Some of the themes that I picked up on (I'm probably way off) are war, conformity, revenge and religion. Vocalist Aaron Wolff displays an impressive range of both singing and screaming styles, and his bleke lyricism is a perfect match for the music his band mates have crafted.
Overall Impression — 8
The End seem to have lost any tunnel vision they may have had on previous releases, and have really diversified their sound on their latest offering. The only real low point is In Distress, where we find drummer Anthony Salajko making the most of a repetitive guitar riff. Catchy tracks such as The Never Ever Aftermath and Throwing Stones should ensure the commercial success I mentioned earlier, while heavier songs like Animals and Awake prove that The End can still flex their metal muscle when they feel like it.