Ontario, Canada’s Thousand Foot Krutch have encouraging audiences large and small to throw up their rawkfists since the late 1990s. After a long stint on Seattle’s Tooth and Nail Records, they found themselves ready to embrace a new chapter in their career. After pouring through a myriad of sound offers from other record entities, they decided independent is the way to go. The End is Where We Begin is the result. Does it hold up to the rest of their discography?
The short answer is yes. Let me throw a few parameters your way before I continue with the review, though. First, TFK fans, like any fans, have certain expectations. There’s a reason this faith-based heavy rock group has over a half-million followers on Facebook alone – their music is accessible and enjoyable by many different audiences.
The End is Where We Begin starts similarly to Welcome to the Masquerade with a minute long intro track. The dialogue spoken over a chugging guitar lick and bass line is plainly meant to pump the listener up, and would work great in concert. Track one of an album? I’m not sure how I feel about that. Listeners won’t care though once “We Are” hits. After this nothing-really-special-but-fun track we find Trevor stretching his voice in his trademark shout-sing style in “Light Up The Sky.” The real gem of the album is probably the title track. Plucking violin tracks creates an operatic atmosphere that carries what is quite simply a really fun, catchy tune that’s sans the borderline cheesy lyrics found throughout the balance of the record (“So Far Gone” is an exception to this rule). The album’s big radio single “Let the Sparks Fly” sounds oddly similar to arena rock favorite “Fire It Up” but no one will care. After a few listens I was hooked. “Be Somebody” serves as the obligatory mid-tempo radio single, and “Fly On The Wall” is probably lyrically the most desperate on the record. An interlude, “This Is A Warning” segues into the memorable “Courtesy Call” which features Trevor stretching his voice yet again amidst some harmonizing in the intro.
So, how does The End is Where We Begin evaluate? On its own terms, it is a very solid record. Is it the best of TFK’s discography? It’s certainly close. The main thing holding me back from proclaiming it as such is the lyrical content. Welcome to the Masquerade and The Flame in All of Us both score higher in that category. However, Trevor brings back in a few tracks the rapping found in the oldies but goodies records Set it Off and Phenomenon. The latter was my first purchase from the band, and provided many hours of rocking out in 2004 as a freshman in high school. Long time fans will no doubt appreciate this nostalgia factor, especially in an age where band evolution is underappreciated. Musically the band is solid, and shows off their veteran skills well. They don’t aim to break new ground because that’s neither who their audience is nor what they enjoy practicing. That said, this record feels more like a collection of songs than a complete album, but then again plainly the band was not aiming for this to be any kind of a concept record.
If you’re looking for something new, don’t buy this record. If you just want to rock out, what are you waiting for? For more insight on what Thousand Foot Krutch is all about, check out Mezzic’s recent interview with frontman Trevor McNevan.