Originally published in ‘zine issue #28, 2003
The End Transfer Trachea Reverberations From Point: False Omniscent
Let me sum this record up first and then detail my assertions. This is a good release but not a great release. This is a good band but not a great band. And unfortunately, at times The End bite off more than they can chew on this debut CD. That being said, let’s talk about some of the good things this band does. The End is at its best when the band churns out driving, twisting, odd time rhythms and grooves. In fact that’s one of the best things about the CD. The mid-tempo parts aren’t just moshy. They groove hard and move the music forward. In the opening track, “Her (Inamorata)”, we get a really nice abstract bass solo which reminds me of Lethargy. More of this is what is going to ultimately distinguish The End from the many bands who are creating chaotic technical metalcore in the wake of Dillinger Escape Plan’s success. What isn’t good about this CD? The End does not play melodies very well, in my opinion. They simply are not tight with their melodic playing. The result is that you find yourself feeling like they are hacks. And it’s not that they actually are hacks, but the stakes are high when you play music that requires such a high degree of musicianship. I think if they keep practicing and thinking, the next work will be at the very least much better if not absolutely wonderful. If you are into metalcore with technical playing, I do urge you to check this out. But if you are a tech metal freak you might be disappointed. In that case, stick with your Spiral Architect CD.
(by Forbes Graham) ■
Usurper Twilight Dominion
This is a violent death metal attack, 12 songs in 2 movements. It sounds like a Nazi battleship reincarnated as a CD, and damn it, that’s a good thing! Usurper is playing here a perfect cross between death metal and classic heavy metal, which means it pummels with double bass and growling vox and it has killer riffs and hooks which bear repeated listening. Their execution is flawless. The best thing is that the album is sequenced well as a whole, with strong cuts one after another. Production wise it is crisp, clear, and mastered LOUD! I recommend it to anyone reading this ‘zine; you need a shock to your comatose brains, and this album will certainly do a number
on you fuckers. Fuck.
(by Adam Perry) ■
Ruins, I’m Really Happy For You/Guaranteed, Suppression
The Warehouse Next Door, Washington, D.C.
With a 7” and CD-R announcing its new lineup and new sound, Suppression is back. A spastic onslaught of blurry, choppy riffs and drums greets those in attendance of this, one of two gigs that Ruins played that day. The bass player/singer threw a handful of fun effects on the vocals and grindy bass, even screaming into his bass guitar’s pickups, walking into the crowd while playing his bass with sweat pouring off him. The drummer laid into his skins, abusing his toms and hi-hat. In-between many of the songs the drummer inexplicably announced, “I suggest to thee a cinderblock.” It’s all good natured, with songs like “Covet Thy Socks and Underwear” and “Midget on Heroin,” but still completely energetic, obnoxious, loud, and boisterous.
I’m Really Happy For You/Guaranteed had a guy in a gas mask picking a bass with a fork, and another guy who was playing a synthesizer and running a slide projector. They both yelled into mics and hopped around and made noise. The synth guy projected shots of the band playing on stage and they both then tried to duplicate each pose they found on the screen. The crowd watched and laughed and clapped. The band was rather funny but not much else.
The Ruins, who were on tour from Japan, took the stage and immediately impressed the audience. They easily showed mastery of their instruments: one person played drums and sang and another played bass guitar and sang also, and they both made the drums and bass their bitches. It was obvious that Ruins were excellent musicians and had passion for their music, which was a mass of song parts thrown at the audience with a mastery of arrangement and subtlety and musicality. The vocals ranged from a kind of singing to low yells to something sounding like birds chirping and off somewhere else again. The bassist’s fingers were dancing on the fretboard and the drummer’s sticks ran all over his drums and cymbals back and forth. After they played their harsh and then soft and then jazzy set, they came back out for an encore after hearing the sustained applause the club gave them. Mostly a fine show and I was glad I went! ■