Embrace The End
posted on 5/2008 By:
You know when you see an action flick that does absolutely nothing new, but it’s executed so well you walk out of the theatre with a big grin on your face? Sure, it won’t be winning any awards, or find itself on your best of the year list, but, goddamn, you couldn’t help but feel satisfied in paying $10 for unadulterated carnage. That’s how I feel about Embrace the End.
I came across Ley Lines randomly, and a casual glance at the band had me expecting generic metalcore, especially after reading their PR heavy self-description. Call me a skeptic, but red flags go up when a band claims to be the definitive authority on all things heavy and brutal. Anticipating mediocrity, I threw it on. Right from the outset of “Cop in a Cage” Embrace the End immediately swayed me. The massive and complex guitarwork coupled with the excellent drumming will convince anyone this band deserves respect. “Cop in a Cage,” “Intensity in Ten Cities,” “Ride It Like You Stole It,” “Pity and the Road to Bimini,” and “Sport the New Plague” exhibit Embrace the End’s knack for making good deathcore tracks, and “Ley Lines” is an absolute scorcher. The guitars have an intensity and technical proficiency that most –core lacks, shredding, pouding, and squealing in a manner that demands attention.
That said, the vocals seriously drag this album down. While the title track features some decent blackened snarls and death metal growls, the yells that permeate the rest of the songs are irritating. They're monotonous and contribute nothing to the music or atmosphere. It’d almost be a better album if it was purely instrumental. Ley Lines also has an overabundance of pretty good (but not outstanding) tracks. Every track contains all the necessary elements of a song to make it enjoyable, but most lack that last unidentifiable bit to push them over the top into great, lasting songs. The band is clearly capable of getting to that point, though, as the title track demonstrates.
Ley Lines isn’t what I can call a fantastic album, but it’s so damn close I want to. Despite its flaws, it’ll still have you punching walls in a testosterone-fueled rage as easily as any other album. It’s admirably proficient, and hopefully a prelude to greater things from a talented band.
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