The End (Canada) - Elementary (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The End (Canada)

Elementary (2007)

Relapse / Dine Alone

For a long time the End stood as Canada's answer to Dillinger Escape Plan. The band's first full-length, 2004's Within Dividia was a tech-metal powerhouse and was a great example of how bringing a new vocalist on board doesn't have to spell the end for a band.

Those looking for a logical follow-up to Within Dividia should probably consider looking elsewhere. With Elementary, the End has taken a turn drastic enough to warrant taking on a new name. The only real similarity with 2004's the End and that of present day is that of excellent musicianship. But while Elementary may not be what people might have expected, it would be a shame for anyone to dismiss this album simply because it incorporates a little more diversity into the mix. Anyone who refuses to give the album a fair shake is only doing a great disservice to themselves.

There's still a clear element of chaos with the End's new sound, although this time around it relies less on technical wizardry and more on a well-defined sense of doom and more importantly, on Aaron Wolff's newly displayed vocal range. Unlike on previous efforts, Wolff actually sings this time around. While Within Dividea showcased Wolff (who was making his first recorded appearance with the band) as someone who could match their previous vocalist blood-curdling scream for blood-curdling scream, Elementary allows him to grow exponentially in his role. On songs such as "Animal," Wolff revisits the band's old sound, as do the rest of the band. It's nice that the elements of their sound that helped earn them the word "math" thrown into the vocabulary that used to be employed in describing them still show up from time to time.

While at times the End might sound a little too mainstream metal or heavy rock for the punk connoisseur (especially on "Throwing Rocks," which sounds an awful lot like Tool), it's great to see the band firmly establishing themselves as their own entity. I'm not going to lie to you, a lot of punk purists are going to be turned off by Elementary, and that's fair. However, the band's newest endeavor here will likely see them swell well beyond their established fanbase, which is a good thing, because the songs on it are simply massive.