End of Trust

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Density can make for a truly brutal listening experience. It's the thing that makes the free jazz of Charles Gayle and post-1965 John Coltrane much harsher than Roscoe Mitchell's AACM experimentation, and it's the reason why Slayer can be a lot more punishing than the forceful yet melodic Judas Priest. NDE's End of Trust is a metalcore CD that thrives on density; it's also ferocious, claustrophobic, and downright unforgiving. Although NDE have been around the Cleveland scene since the mid-'90s, this 2003 release is their first recording for Crash Music -- a Phoenix, AZ-based indie that puts out a variety of metal. And End of Trust demonstrates that NDE are among Crash's more extreme signings; a take-no-prisoners approach prevails throughout this CD. NDE have the usual metalcore elements -- angst-ridden lyrics, chugging guitars, fast tempos, and a screaming, tortured vocal style -- and their material is absolutely dripping with anger. End of Trust isn't terribly diverse; after the first few tracks, the listener has pretty much heard it all. Nor are NDE distinctive. But regardless of their limitations, the Cleveland combo can still be exhilarating -- that is, if one has a taste for extreme metalcore. Like grindcore, death metal, free jazz, techno, and gangsta rap, this type of metal is very much an acquired taste. Headbangers who prefer a more melodic approach to alternative metal would be better off sticking to bands like Mushroomhead and Nothingface, who combine sledgehammer aggression with a strong sense of melody. But from a metalcore standpoint, this is an enjoyably disc if you're in the mood for pure, unmitigated, unrepentant sensory assault.

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