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Article Tools Display Modes Review: End Theory
Drew Peterson reviews Seattle metal band End Theory's debut album.
Published by Drew
Arrow Review: End Theory

<div align="right"><img src="" alt="End Theory" />
<b>Review: End Theory</b>
<font size="1"><i>By: Drew Peterson</i></font></div>
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"Hailing from the Seattle/Tacoma area, End Theory brings a new sense of talent with complex riffs, thought-provoking lyrics and pummeling breakdowns. End Theory masterfully combines an intoxicating mix of technical hard core and rock with prog and death metal. This unique approach makes End Theory one of the most abrasive, commanding and emotionally charged groups in the underground scene today. You never know what you're going to get from this group of accomplished diverse individuals." - <span class="ivred">Official Website</span>
<img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="End Theory" />It might be all too easy to describe a band as "face-melting" when their debut's cover showcases a face that is, well, melting. In the case of Washington's End Theory, however, just because the analogy is obvious doesn't mean that it's not necessarily true. The Tacoma-based riff machine blasts out an unique conglomorate of prog rock, death metal, and hard core with all the sublty of a jackhammer to the temple. You want deep, insightful lyricism delivered with grace, poise, and understatement? Buy a Dylan album. Grinding, brutal, death-defying riffs that'll rip your head off if you drop your guard for a split second? You owe it to yourself to give the new self-titled End Theory album a spin.

In a refreshing departure from the slew of bands with a male/female duo splitting lead vocal duties that have saturated the modern metal community over the last five or so years, lead vocalist Rosa Arias just may hold the edge over leather-throated vocalist and bassist Kriss Blazina. Kriss's gravely growling could easily serve as a rather memoral focal point for another death metal outfit, but Rosa's edge-of-white-noise banshee wail is positively arresting. Arias may be one of the most unique voices in metal at the moment, with a feral, gutteral growl that occasionally gives way to a rather respectable melodic scream as well. As if that wasn't enough, Arias also splits her time between English and Spanish; an English-language and Spanish-language version of "Life" serve as the two endpeices of this album. Blazina's deeper, more percussive growling serves as the perfect counterpoint to Arias' show-stopping vocals, and if speakers could bleed, the resulting two-pronged vocal attack could hemmorhage anything you could throw at it. Brutal doesn't even begin to do it justice.
<img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="End Theory" />

And it's not like the band behind them is sitting back and playing waltzes, either. The album opes with a cyclical, uneven riff that wouldn't feel out of place on a Meshuggah album before a punishing double kick driven drum groove comes slamming out of your speakers. Eschewing verse-chorus-verse song structures, End Theory wear their prog roots proudly, changing time signatures and tempos like a less adventuresome group would change chords. It's not uncommon to hear the band shift through ten or fifteen distinct riffs, many of which in radically different time signatures and tempos, within the scope of a single song, making a single cohesive-sounding song out of what for many bands would be an entire album. Rhythm guitarist Randy Bebich and lead extrordinaire Shannon Sharp meld their bipolar riffing with Sharp's occasional melodyline excursions, while Erik Lofgren's frantic drumming and Blazina's pummeling basswork combine to a gargantuian wall of sound that sounds like the byproduct of a trauma ward.

<img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="End Theory" />
But, not surprisingly, End Theory isn't above throwing the occasional screw into the gears just for kicks. Just give a quick listen to the very Metallica-esq "N.A.H.S Part A" sequeing into Not Another Happy Song, with its' southern rock riffing and tongue-in-cheek C.C Deville-isms in the breakdown falling in the middle of the song. It's the unexpected hallmark of a band that writes some very serious music but at the same time knows better than to take itself too seriously.

End Theory is one of those bands where you very quickly run out of words to describe them. Brutal, pummelling, technical, searing, and any number of other adjectives that you've already read in the proceeding paragraphs. You get the picture - if you're bored by the modern American metal community and you're looking for an injection of fresh blood to slam into the stagnant slew of copycat nu-metal bands dominating American airwaves and encroaching into the metal underground, End Theory just may be the band you've been waiting for.

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By Chris on 05-10-2006, 01:17 PM
Solid album, solid review sir.
By Shannon on 05-10-2006, 01:19 PM!

Thank you, Drew, Chris & everyone who's bought the album!
By metalfiend666 on 05-10-2006, 05:00 PM
I will be buying it, honest!
By David on 05-10-2006, 05:01 PM
Couldn't have said it better myself, that rules.
By D-EJ915 on 05-10-2006, 09:25 PM
Sweet stuff \m/
By Leon on 05-10-2006, 10:25 PM
i need to get on the ball and grab this!
By Shawn on 05-12-2006, 09:27 PM
Cool review, nicely done. This cd delivers some serous metal, I am glad I got it.
By Michael on 07-07-2006, 06:56 PM
This album is kicking my ass. brutal stuff!
By Shannon on 07-07-2006, 11:34 PM
By Donnie on 07-08-2006, 12:40 AM
I still haven't listened to my copy. I'm a lazy jerk.
By nitelightboy on 07-11-2006, 10:18 AM
This album owns all...It still plays VERY regularly at both my apartment and my truck.
By Michael on 08-24-2006, 03:28 AM
Yo, Shannon! Just out of curiosity, what gear and stuff did you use on the album?


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