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End of Expectations - "This Is Letting Go" (CD/EP)

End of Expectations - "This Is Letting Go" CD/EP cover image

"This Is Letting Go" track listing:

1. Generations Decay (3:23)
2. Never Is Never Was (3:35)
3. Bury You (3:51)
4. This Is Letting Go (3:47)

Reviewed by on April 2, 2010

"In the context of a debut EP this is pretty solid work, as the band has a good sense of dynamics that make the songs more than just posturing."

End of Expectations is a self described metal/hardcore band from Seattle. More specifically they are a blackened thrashcore band from heard-this-before-city. The unfortunate bit of listening to their first EP “This is Letting Go” is that the band’s name may be all too true.

Now before I start ripping on overdone ‘core imitators, credit must be paid. Guitarists Arta and Austin get some good leads and licks in and the solo break toward the end of “Generations Decay” is pretty freakin’ exhilarating. The title track has a faded intro with guitar leads over keys and keeps those ripping layered leads the whole way through, playing well with the staccato vocals and slower rhythm tempo.

The double axe attack outside of the solos is also arranged well, providing many fireworks. The band favors short thrash bursts of intertwined riffs rather than alternating light speed riffs and breakdowns, which is definitely to their benefit as well. And let’s not forget this is a debut EP, so to expect an arena-ready formula is fairly unfair. In the context of a debut EP this is pretty solid work, as the band has a good sense of dynamics that make the songs more than just posturing.

But the drawbacks are inherent to the debut EP release format, and only an immediately phenomenal band could get around them. First off, the production is awful – to be expected on a debut release – but the kick drum sounds like a pencil tapping a nice oak dining table and the guitar mix is sludgier than week old oatmeal (I hope this band doesn’t go all doomcore on us). Second, ‘core genres and subgenres are pretty burned out, and there isn’t much new or interesting about End of Expectations' musical mix. That isn’t to say they aren’t (or won’t) be good at it, but they have a steeper slope than all the currently-in-favor black and thrash metal revivalists running around these days.

I will definitely hit the band’s Myspace page when they start releasing more material as there is some potential here. But the way I hear it, that potential is capped at the level of a consistently solid regular, not a perennial all-star.

Highs: The title track is a good mix of twin guitar leads and interesting dynamics.

Lows: The production doesn’t let the band shine as much as they might.

Bottom line: A solid, if unspectacular, debut EP of blackened thrashcore.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)