The End – Elementary - Digipak -CD
There are few albums that just blow me away straight from the get go. As soon as I got this CD and popped it into my CD player, I was immediately hooked. Then by the time the second song came and went, I thought to myself, "Yeah I think i've got a new favorite band."
This is one of my favorite up and coming genres, "mathcore". The only other notable band I can think of that kind of fits into this category is Protest The Hero. So if you like them you'll probably love these guys, though they have two very different takes on the genre. If you like technical/progressive metal at all, I'd highly recommend you check out this up and coming Canadian group.
Lets get down to the dynamics of Elementary. The first song on the album, "Dangerous", grabs your attention right off the bat without any delay. You'll notice the technical 6-8 time signature (that is very prominent within the entire album), that they pull off beautifully. What I love about it so much, is the fact that you can hear the guitar, drums, and yes even the bass so clearly. They don't clash with each other and it gives off such a crisp sound. They don't stop here either, this can be expected throughout the rest of the album.
Then the vocals come in, he's got a raspy-like scream, but at the same time has fantastic clean vocals. The singer has great range that never gets redundant or let's you lose focus. Constantly impressive, one minute he's screaming till his throat bleeds and then he'll go right into his calm singing voice. Most impressive is how well he makes it work, it never sounds forced. Yet, his tone is always changing from song to song, giving each song it's own sound. Which shows that he "feels" what he's singing, rather than just saying the words.The lyrics are very progressive and thought-provoking so there is something more to get out of the album.
Next, let's talk about the drums on Elementary. These are executed superbly, especially on the faster songs. The 6-8 is done so well on this album by everyone, it's spectacular. The drummer provides the perfect amount of kick with a great blend of (at times) almost primitive beats. Very original and unique drumming that backs up the rest of the instruments. While at the same time manages to do its own thing without getting distracting or convoluted.
The guitar is utterly fantastic! Such technique and originality that makes Elementary so phenomenal. Too many bands just don't put this much thought into their music. The constant changing time signatures, the build ups, the riffs, the occasional solo, it's all so great. You immediately notice that the guitar play is unlike anything you've really heard before. Sporadic and constantly changing. The vocals and guitar co-inside great with each other, building up at the same time and then just explode into their own thing, then come right back to where they were. Every song has it's own inventive sound. You've got the fast paced, almost twangy sound of "Dangerous" and "Animals". Then you've got the slower more thought provoking songs like "Never Ever Aftermath" and, "And Always". The guitar play is is all over the place, it provides a terrific blend of "chuga chuga" riffs with melody, perfectly and consistently. Not chocked full of solos, but the songs don't really need them. However, the solos you do get are fantastic, they send the song spiraling into a whole other direction. Very impressive and the furthest thing from bland guitar work I can think of.
The Bass! Yep, that's right you can actually hear the bass guitar! This is a huge selling point for me. The bass is almost on par with the guitar work on Elementary. In a lot of ways it's more important. If it's not carrying the technical guitar work, it's doing it's own thing while still keeping the rhythm of the song. The bass and guitar play perfectly in unison while playing two different things, yet still produce a similar sound for the song. Without the bass this album couldn't exist.