Released: 2007, Metal Blade Records
Some readers out there may remember the Swedish melodic death metal band A Canorous Quintet. Formed in 1991 and mainly active during the melodic death metal heyday of the late ‘90s, A Canorous Quintet released two albums (SILENCE OF THE WORLD BEYOND and THE ONLY PURE HATE) before calling it quits 1999. Those two albums are holy grails for some, but in the grand scheme of things, the band didn’t make the big splash that many of their contemporaries did.
After the band split, various members spent time in bands like Amon Amarth, Sins of Omission, and Guidance of Sin. However, in 2005, all five original members of A Canorous Quintet decided to reform under the name This Ending. Why the name change? I couldn’t tell ya.
Anyway, listening to their latest offering, it’s clear that the time away hasn’t dulled the band’s sharp edge one bit. They’re still playing melodic death metal as only the Swedish can, but they’ve evolved perhaps even more melody and a touch of the industrial into the music. Of course, the music is catchy as hell, with personal faves like “Nailed Down” and “Plague Angel” having riffs that have stayed with long after I stopped the disc.
As always though, melodic death metal in 2007 is somewhat passé, and This Ending haven’t really done anything to advance the genre. Perhaps on this album they were just concentrating on having fun being a band again (not a bad thing), but there’s nothing on INSIDE THE MACHINE that makes you sit up and take notice. Compared with Dark Tranquillity’s new album and the masterful “Inside the Particle Storm”, this disc pales slightly.
Make no mistake however, INSIDE THE MACHINE is a vicious slice of melodic death metal, and likely would have earned an easy 4.5/5 back in the glory days of the genre.