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The End and Car Bomb…

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2007 @ 9:20am » permalink

The End - ElementaryI've never been huge on The End, but "Elementary", their latest Relapse Records full-length, shows quite an impressive degree of growth. As I was generally on the fence about the fast 'n' chaotic metalcore of their debut (though I could cite its potential), I actually never even heard "Within Dividia", so I'm unsure as to where it falls along the line of progression demonstrated on this album, but compared to those early days this strikes me as an almost entirely new band. Remnants of those speedy, discordant metalcore bursts still linger, but they've been usurped by rhythmic post-hardcore dissonance and darker atmospherics revolving around somber drones and ringing guitar textures that create something of a "spacey" quality. There's a lot of layering going on, and certain degrees of complexity are still evident throughout the listen, but there's a far greater emphasis on actual songwriting now, so a much wider range of tempos and dynamics are present – in a fluid manner, mind you – and for my money that really pays off. Additionally, the vocal performance is now dominated by singing (which can be awesomely emphatic at its best), reserving fits of aggressive screaming for only those areas that truly call for it – again demonstrating the group's newfound attention to the compositional "big picture".

Elsewhere, the recording is fucking great, with a super crisp mix that really lets some of the subtler details surface throughout the album. The rhythm section alone sounds like a million bucks, with the massively dense basslines resting just beneath the core while the natural warmth of the percussion runs circles around the center – never "flashy", but always tactfully breaking out when it makes sense to do so. The softer, almost ambient soundscape leanings that occasionally creep in for added effect sound slick, too. The disc is then packaged in a handsome digipack with some very cool artwork that ties into elements of the lyrical imagery. The band photos are rather silly and have much more in common with today's ever-popular "fashioncore" niche than The End's music ever will, which certainly won't do the band any favors in the eyes of less open-minded fans confused by their continued shift in approach, but then… there was probably no hope for some of those listeners anyway, right? I'm not saying I'm totally floored by this material, but this is the best music I've heard from The End to date, and I'm very curious to see where they're gonna go next. It's always a good thing to see a band separate themselves from the morass of an overpopulated niche of the genre in favor of a more artistically creative outlet…

The End "The Never Ever Aftermath"
The End "Animal"

As always, make the grab if you dig the tunes. This one's not out until the first week of February, but you can pre-order it as we speak:

@ Relapse Records

Car Bomb - CentraliaAnother much-improved act who just recently made their way onto the Relapse Records roster is Car Bomb, whose debut full-length, "Centralia", is a 32-minute mindfuck of blistering speeds and acerbic bursts galore. That's not all they have to offer, however, as there are some slick jazzy breaks and dingy midpaced churnings interspersed within the generally chaotic framework to add variety/breathing room. All three of the tracks from their demo appear here in re-recorded form, so they're still operating in the same general space, they've just become a tighter, stronger, unit – which takes the intensity to new heights. What I like the most about this album is that significantly large chunks of wild 'n' crazy metalcore are mashed 'n' mangled into a more ferocious and grinding beast: We're talking loads of absolutely wild time signatures, insane vocal shifts and patterns, and riffs that jump from tangibly chunky to pure and total noise in a manner that's respectably listenable – which I actually find to be somewhat of a rare trait when it comes to this kind of thing. A stronger recording benefits their approach as well, drawing the elements in for a cohesive core that gives the raging bass tone a much more focal role than on the demo. And the drumming! The fucking drumming, man! Fuck, I mean… this dude is a god damn machine. Tight as fuck and completely off the charts… I love it. While I wouldn't particularly compare the two overall, I'd at least cite that some of the individual characteristics happening here should appeal to fans of the mighty Discordance Axis, so Car Bomb should indeed be one to watch as things unfold.

Car Bomb "Cielo Drive"
Car Bomb "Pieces of You"

As above, this one doesn't officially hit the streets until early-February, but you can go ahead and pre-order the madness:

@ Relapse Records

23 Comments...

  1. phil d says:

    i got Within Dividia for like 2 bucks a while back and thought it was boring, but i just got a promo of this new one a few days ago and i must say it totally makes the old one seem like pure shit, also got a promo of carbomb too pretty good as well.

  2. Jon says:

    woah! car bomb is really weird! thanks for pointing that out.

  3. JAF says:

    Honestly, I can't get behind this The End stuff. There are some pretty nice parts, but this emoish singing really kills it. Actually, I can't get behind any of these vocals. I remember seeing these guys a while ago and beging amazed. I can't say that these two songs make me want to hear the rest of this album.

  4. This shit is fucking brutal. The first thing that came to mind when i first heard Car Bomb a while back was Meshuggah. Now Car Bomb has their own thing going on here so I'm not trying to say they are ripping them off, it's just their off-kilteredness of this sound, to me, only comes from a few places, Meshuggah being one. I'm a fan of what I've heard so far and can not wait until this CD comes in.

  5. Carlzilla says:

    The End might as well change their name to "Slightly More Credible Linkin' Park" at this point.

  6. AVE says:

    I like The Never Ever Aftermath especially the vocals. Sometimes I get tired of the cookie monster vocals trend in "extreme" metal, so I don't mind a mix-up. Not sure I agree with the Linkin' Park comparison. This sound more dramatic and melodic to me and I don't really here a rap/hip-hop influence ala LP.

  7. Adrianoso says:

    Goddamnit! Car Bomb is just utterly insane! As for The End, I don't hear any Linkin Park in "Animal."

  8. disappointed fan says:

    The last riff of Animal sounds like a Bizkit riff with Linkin Park vocals. Aaron's screaming is quite similar to that blond haired kid in LP now. You can tell that the seventh track on the record was the first one written; it's the one that actually sounds like THE END.

    And realize they only changed their sound to play to bigger crowds, and that's straight from their mouths. These lads complained many a times about playing to small crowds and admitted they were gonna streamline their sound because they wanted more fans. I think by defnition that is a sellout.

    Whoever hasn't heard The End's Within Dividia should most definitely check it out. The greatest metal record of the last decade (IMHO)

  9. disappointed fan says:

    oh, and the new Car Bomb fucking rules

  10. phil d says:

    i personally love linkin park why all the hate for the LP

  11. Adrianoso says:

    Nope. Sorry, I just don't hear Chester in there (then again I don't really listen to LP.) And where the fuck did (Limp?) Bizkit come from?

  12. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Agreed. While I personally like it better than their past work that I've heard, I knew some would hate it, but… comparing it to Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit just doesn't make any sense to me at all, ha…

  13. disappointed fan says:

    the linkin park comparison comes from the screaming vocals, especially the end (no pun intended) of "Animals". The LB comparison comes mostly from the same part of "Animals"

    I've got nothing against the band, they're actually all nice guys. But I've listened to "Elementary" many times since xmas, and this shit is clearly glorified nu-metal (with 15% actually sounding like the End). And out of all the people that I've met that were big fans of theirs, the reaction was always "What the fuck is this shit?" to this new album. I'm sure they'll sell way more records now though, already Decibel and Chart Attack (both much more mainstream publications) are raving about this record.

    None of this is of any importance of course, being the opinion of a quite jaded fan.

  14. i've never liked much of the end before, but i really got into this new one, which is good since i'm going to interview them soon. :)

  15. justin says:

    The End = Deftones/Tool with an edge. Their first record was Dillinger wanna-be crap with some interesting clean breaks here and there. Never heard the second one.

    Carbomb…eh, disjointed, played-out tech metal wackiness that could be on Black Market Activities. No thanks. For good Relapse metal Unearthly Trance rules all!

  16. chaart says:

    comparing the new the end record to lp oder lb is ridicilious.
    the deftones/tool is comparison is much more accurate, I think I can hear
    a little bit of older cave in, some parts even remind me of the last thrice
    record. I think it's a really balanced record with a clear concept.
    disappointed fan sound like a lot of the small minded fanboy who bash the end
    at their myspace site. get a life really.

  17. disappointed fan says:

    chaart, yes, comparing two albums by the same band is ridiculous *sarcasm*. the rest of your insults are too juvenile to comment on.
    second; the album isn't terrible, it's better than most metalcore out there, it's just not at the level of their previous efforts. you can't go from brutaltechgrind to glorified nu metal/metalcore without having a few fans say "what the fuck?" it has nothing to do with closemindedness you fucking dipshit (ok, so I had to comment)
    third; saw them play live yesterday, the new songs sound MUCH MUCH BETTER live, check them out no matter how you stand on the new one.

  18. chaart says:

    I said it is ridiculous to compare the end to linkin park or limp bizkit, for fucks sake.
    elementary has no nu metal elements in it. point. it is neither a generic metalcore record. I think it has the same emphatic mood like burst's "origo". and to call within divida "the greatest metal record of the last decade" is also over the top. I'm not surprised, 'cause it seems that you wanted another generic brutaltechgrind(whatever?) record and not clean singing…whatever

  19. Anonymous says:

    haha "greatest metal record of the last decade" – are you drunk or something? the song were too complicated, nothing to remember, twists in few seconds. I dont know why people never can live with that that bands change. you cant play the same style on the all albums. of course most of the band does that, but i think nothing is wrong in band try to change a little bit.
    and i think that so called mathcore (what a stupid name for style) have completley lost their course, they only want to top TDEP: Calculating Infinity. Fuck even TDEP arent the same anymore?!?!

  20. HM says:

    both records are awesome. the new the end is a huge surprise. knowing them since day one, no one could anticipate a record like this. i love it. Car Bomb are fucking insane. by the way, the new minsk and rwake rock as well

  21. chris says:

    it might be a said that it's a sad state of affairs when a band has to mellow out to start sounding better", but who gives a shit? the point is that the end now sounds better than ever, whether one wants to admit it or not. car bomb, technical prowess notwithstanding, is just too disjointed for me.

  22. chris says:

    *might be said*

  23. tanya katrina says:

    I, too, have never been much of a fan of The End, but after hearing "Never Ever Aftermath" I *needed* to have the entire album. It's brilliant; the lyrics, the tone, the atmosphere it provides… Absolutely their best album as of yet.

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