Monday, January 24, 2011

[Monday Music] -- MUDVAYNE/The End Of All Things To Come

I realized after posting the review for Voivod's Angel Rat that the first two albums I reviewed from our home CD collection were both released in 1991. I then realized that made them twenty years old. I figured I should review something from this century for the next one. So, here you go...

The End of All Things To Come (henceforth referred to as TEoATtC) is the second major-label offering (and third album overall if you count the demo Kill, I Oughta) from Peoria, Illinois quartet Mudvayne. It was released in 2002 (so... early in this century). The first disc these boys proffered up, LD50, was nothing short of brutal. I have it... I like it... but I'm not fond of self-induced headaches, so I don't play it that often.

TEoATtC takes the brutality of LD50, shaves off a few of the rough edges, and makes the songs at least hummable. 'Vayne still come across as angry, angry guys, but at least its tempered with some direction that at least allows one to discern that they're angry, and not bug-nuts insane.

There are a number of songs here that hit like sledgehammers. The big thing that distinguishes Mudvayne from a host of other metal bands (at least on this album) is the rampant use of odd, sometimes conflicting time signatures that make those hammers come at you with differing angles of attack. It's still a rhythmic, relentless assault, but the rhythms are hard to predict and pin down. Sometimes vocals are off and running in 6/8 time, while the guitar is chugging at a 4/4, the drums are rumbling at 11/16, and the bass thinks that 7/8 time is a good pace. It all sounds chaotic, but for brief moments everything comes together. That's when you get it and it all sounds good.

Individual song highlights...

Not Falling - One of the most radio ready songs on the record is also one of the best. A theme of defiance against oppression is articulated fairly well. It's pretty standard "rebellious" stuff, but it's catchy and singable.

Mercy, Severity - Probably one of my favorite songs on the album, "Mercy, Severity" shows that Mudvayne can be literate without being pretentious which is so hard to do in a rock idiom. The chorus...

Mother Of Creation, Wait
Embrace the Souls of a Lost World
Carry Them Away

Darkness, Negative, Receptive
Pour Firmament Between Our Waters
Separate the Space

Mother of Destruction, Wait
With a Belt of Skulls Strap Me Down
And Send the Ship Away

Progress With the Process
Mine The Souls From Their Casts
Pour Form and Reshape

Not bad, eh?

World So Cold - The bulk of this song is comprised of a quiet elegance, shifting to a restrained seething during the bridge and chorus. While there are a few raspy-throated screams here and there, they never really escape their prison. The whole things seems to work, though, even though it seemingly has no right to.

Shadow of a Man - A series of disjointed verses continuously collapse into a chugging chorus that provides all too short breaks from the all-over-the-place noodling going on here. Still, the drive of that chorus is hard to ignore. All while positing the question if our reflections in the mirror are actually the real thing while we are just shallow images drifting through existence.   

TEoATtC kind of falters in the last part of the album, with "12:97:24:99", the title track, and "A Key to Nothing" all seeming like filler. Maybe not like filler, but definitely with a sense of deja vu in that we've heard all this already within the record. You should end now.

GopherDave Grade: 7.2/10

Track Listing

01. Silenced
02. Trapped in the Wake of a Dream

03. Not Falling
04. (Per)version of a Truth
05. Mercy, Severity
06. World So Cold
07. The Patient Mental
08. Skrying
09. Solve Et Coagula
10. Shadow of a Man
11. 12:97:24:99
12. The End of All Things to Come
13. A Key to Nothing
Lyrics used without permission, but they are Copyright 2002 by Zomba Enterprises Inc. and Mudvayne Music Inc. (ASCAP). If there's a problem, drop me al ine and let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment