So I've been hyping The End Is Where We Begin by Thousand Foot Krutch for a while, and April 17th has finally rolled around. TFK's groovy brand of hard rock returns with a freakin' VENGEANCE on their latest release, which the band has called "the lightest and heaviest album we've ever done."
Things get off to a suitably epic start with the intro, called, well, The Introduction. Lead singer Trevor McNevan's roboticized voice warns listeners that they have "activated all systems" and that "deactivation is not an option." The music builds and builds until everything drops, Trevor declares "The end is where we begin," and everything basically explodes with the start of the next song.
The album really begins with the smashing We Are, which is your typical TFK hard-rock call to action. There's some awesome cowbell, the guitar riff is deliciously heavy, and the anthemic chorus is one of those choruses you want to hear over and over again. Then the band goes and defies all your typical TFK expectations with the next track, Light Up The Sky. This is a rap rock song, no joke. Trevor used to rap, and really well, too —and here he goes doing it again. Light Up is full of awesome funky riffs and really cool lyrics ("I blaze a trail like the rays from taillights sound shaking the ground like earthquakes and hail mics. Someday I'll die but not tonight, excuse me while I...LIGHT UP THE SKY!").
The End Is Where We Begin follows with a melodic, fun hard rock sound, soaring vocals, and some cool violin plucking. Then comes the explosive second single Let The Sparks Fly, which brings to mind the band's hit "Fire It Up"—it's full of energy, heaviness, and full-band shouting. The rap returns on the stomping I Get Wicked, warning listeners not to try and get in Trevor's way: "I am not afraid of this mountain in my way, you can push me to my knees, I believe." (This song also has the awesome lyric "P.S. don't play me like a 3DS!") Things slow down but get no less epic on the ballad Be Somebody, where Trevor cries out to know who he really is: "We all wanna be somebody, we all want a taste of who we are...You're the only one who knows who I really am."
The interlude This Is a Warning comes next with ominous violins and choral voices which break into the opening vocal harmony of Courtesy Call. Things start out clean, but then the violins come back, and then Trevor starts shouting, and then, well, you kind of have to hear it for yourself. Courtesy Call is another super-heavy rocker with an awesome chorus and a crushing guitar riff. The first single, War of Change, starts with a clean guitar riff and breaks into a heavy stomp-clap beat. The screaming bridge is VERY Linkin Park.
The last rap track, Down, follows with some of the best rapping on the album with a fast beat and an awesome shouting hook: "I don't wanna maintain, insane, get it up, you always play the blame game, no shame, had enough!" Ballad #2, All I Need To Know, comes next with an acoustic guitar and kick drum backing Trevor's soaring vocals. Trev sings of not knowing about the future: "I don't know which way the wind will blow, but you're here with me, and that's all I need to know." The ominous Fly On The Wall features more violins and Trevor singing very creepily about getting rid of someone who's been corrupting you: "I don't think I need you anymore. Take your words and your lies and just beat it."
The final song, So Far Gone, is a love letter to God from Trevor. "I wanna be so far gone in You, so far nothing else will ever do...Sometimes I wonder why you even care, cause even when I leave you're always there." The violins return for the outro ("The Outroduction") and a final message from Trevor the robot: "This is the mainframe. From here, survival is up to you. Choose your decisions wisely. Change starts with us. Remember, if you don't stand for something, you might fall for anything. Because the end is where we begin."
The Rundown: Woooooow. There's not a single skippable track on this album. The heavy songs are groovy and awesome, and the light songs are passionate and energetic. Every rock fan needs this album for their collection. Heck, every rap fan, too— the return of the Trevor rap should be enough to make you get it. Everything just works.
Final score: 5/5
All riiiight! Keep writing those Hit Lists, guys; haynorhotto's Radical Something list was pretty awesome. Get those out there! I wanna see a few more before I get back to writing them again. Later!
Have you checked out Thousand Foot Krutch's new album?
Related post: The Hit List: Thousand Foot Krutch