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the Gauntlet

Music Interview: The End of the Canadian's metal scene

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The End is coming. Perhaps not on pale horses or brandishing flaming swords, but The End still broke into the hardcore scene in a big way with the release of their debut album Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point: False Omniscient. Three years after, The End has survived the lost of a member, inked a deal with Relapse Records, and took their work to a new level of aggressiveness and maturity with the release of the album Within Dividia. With their ferocious genre bending style they've made their mark on the already distinctive Canadian metal scene.

Canadian metal scene, you ask? It's not as if hardcore metal falls in line with maple syrup, bacon and hockey, in the minds of most. That, according to The End's guitarist Andrew Hercules, is the main reason why Canada produces such unique and progressive metal acts.

"I think that it's because we really live, as far as the music industry goes, in the shadow of our neighbors [in the states]. You have to be that much sicker to get that recognition, you have to push it, you have to do something great. Otherwise you would just get washed up in the hype of all the other bands."

But having signed to Relapse Records, The End don't need to worry about being brushed aside by metal fans. Relapse is sure to make a name for The End. Still, the band suffered a major loss in 2002 with the departure of lead singer Tyler Semrick-Palmateer. With his sudden exit the band desperately searched for a replacement, and found it in one of The End's biggest fans, Aaron Wolff.

"At first it was pretty hard," Hercules explains. "We played shows for longer than he had and he is a lot younger and didn't even know some of the music we listen to. [But] his attitude right off the bat made things work really well because, yeah he could do the job and he was really psyched about doing it, which was the most important thing we were looking for. With our old singer that was the problem, he wasn't really into doing The End and he was kind of just casual. He was good he just didn't have his whole heart in it and Aaron had the feeling we all had about the band and so from there everything built on that. It just worked out really well."

The whole ordeal may have been one of the factors that lead to the distinct maturation in their music on Within Dividia. There is a definitely more aggressive feel to the new album as compared to Transfer Trache, a much darker tone and far more brutal than their earlier work. As Hercules explains it, their first album was just a building block.

"We did set out to make a darker album this time and Transfer Trachea, was in a lot of ways for us an experimentation--different riffs and stuff that we hadn't really heard or hadn't really done that much before and just a lot of things coming together to that never really blended. So with this album, it just became logical that it had to have that slightly darker feel. We just wanted to make really moody stuff that could really take you away and still be energetic and not just depressing, still be punishing."

Don't let the experimentation part of their music get in the way of the band's reputation for giving memorable live performances. With the new material Hercules promises an even better outing from the band on their cross Canada head-lining tour.

"I like the way our newer stuff comes across live too for instance, a lot more forceful and sounds better in bigger places. It's more rocking, it's ultimately is shit you can bang your head to a little more. You're just going to have to show up to really know."

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