Elementary

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There's a genre called "mathcore" that's more the product of music critics struggling for classification than what the musicians create, but the bands that fall into the category are usually exploring some heady atmosphere in the space between grindcore and hardcore punk. Enter the End. No, the Ontario quintet doesn't come off like it's playing calculus through its amps. Vocalist Aaron Wolff screams like he's gargling glass, but he can also croon like an emo wuss. And these guys are masters with dynamics and tension; sure, that's the same ammunition as every group working in mathcore, but there's more skill here. There are jerky time signatures, and tones that sound like they'd never work next to each other, but do. It's sometimes hit-or-miss, especially if you don't care for mathematical riffs. Don't buy Elementary for the rhythm section — this is a guitar and vocals album all the way, even if drummer Anthony Salajko unleashes a few explosive fills. But if you've always wanted the aggression of hardcore delivered with more skill than unchecked pummel, it might be the End for you.

Kent Alexander writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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