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This Ending was a gem amongst gravel. I happened upon this album in a local music store and bought it on a whim despite the name of the band (sounds a little like a metalcore name I think) and man I was completely blown away. This band is going to go a long way if they continue in the style they have presented with their "debut" Inside the Machine.
Inside the Machine is a solid release that presents the listener with melodic death metal spiced up with a dash of industrial. As a whole the album is packed with massive writing and performances. The album is a solid whole but also includes a handful of standout tracks that don't sacrifice the album as a whole.
The guitar work is superb with some mixtures of stop and go riffing (reminds me of early Fear Factory at times) with gloomy but well placed leads. There are some break out monster death metal riffs too (the beginning of Seed of Destruction comes to mind) and the mix of these three different metal styles blend nicely together into a dirty but pleasing substance. The leads are well placed in the mix of industrialized pounders and death metal riffs and it gives the guitar work some amazing variety even for a genre that is being watered down by the market. The solos that come screaming to the forefront are expertly played but leave the listener wanting a little more even though the material is well played and written. I felt as though the soloing wasn't always the right feeling (especially with the atmosphere of an iron factory that I got from the album). This is only a sparse feeling I got and other times the band nailed solos and leads. Particularly the song Inside the Machine felt really powerful on the leads and solos.
The bass parts left a little to be desired - but the role was basically to provide that machine-like low end to the music to keep it feeling heavy and rhythmatic rather than to show off fret work. The drums are very connected into this ideology too. They provide a very structured world for the music to exist in. The cymbal work to me was the strongest part of the drumming as I felt it did add a good deal of variety into the rhythm of the bass drum.
The vocals are the weakest part of the album even though they are not bad by any means. His vocals, although good, are not all that unique and they do begin to get monotonous towards the end of the album. Every once in a while, he does let out a decent roar and different vocal pattern - and once I listen to the album a bit more I'm sure I'll find more variation. Plague Angel has some good vocal changes in it and I found myself really enjoying that song.
I am a big fan of both industrialized death metal (Fear Factory, SYL) and Melodic Death Metal and I found a great mix of the two in This Ending. Inside the Machine is a great combo for any metalhead and for a debut album they have set a massive notch to top for themselves.
Songs to check out: Inside the Machine, Plague Angel, Nailed Down.