Currents - The Way It Ends
Album: The Way It Ends
Label: SharpTone Records
FFO: Make Them Suffer, Polaris, Invent,Animate
Currents is a band that have personally always been a hit or miss throughout their albums. Some songs usually end up being great, and others fall short. Then we come to ‘The Way It Ends’, where you can close your eyes, pick a song, and you will never choose a ‘bad’ one. That still leaves room for a few flaws I found, but we’ll get into that later. The production was very solid with a couple moments of weird mixing on the vocals. Maybe it doesn’t stand out to others, but I found an exaggeration on certain “S” and “T” sounds early on that kinda bothered me, and I don’t believe it was the vocalists fault. But other than that, I can’t complain about the production.
There are a few songs on here to prove this might be the heaviest Currents has ever gone on an album. With the most obvious of those songs being ‘Poverty of Self’. That song almost has a deathcore vibe to it. Which doesn’t come across as too weird when they’ve got Chris Wiseman of Shadow of Intent on guitar. This information was actually new to me when beginning this album. Being a huge fan of SOI, it’s really great to hear Chris is multi-talented when it comes to knowing what he’s working with. The riffs and licks he’s coming up with for Currents very much fit the band and is clearly separate from his other work. There’s a good balance of heavy and soft, not so much between songs as much as within the songs themselves. There were a couple transitions in songs that caught me off guard and felt a bit weird like towards the first half of ‘Better Days’. But it eventually had either better transitions, or maybe I just got used to it. A transition I didn’t like too much between songs was the opener and it’s follow-up. Powerful first track, but I did not find it melded very well with the second song. As for the topic of the heavy and soft dichotomy, the softer areas were a little underwhelming at times. Second Skin does a great job when he is softly singing after the intro by having a really cool bass line rhythm behind it whereas other times it can be more plain such as the following song ‘How I Fall Apart’. These are a few of my dislikes but I don’t want that to completely take away from what is great about it. These unfavorable moments are noticeable, but minor. The heaviness and grooves on this LP are top notch due to creative writing and ambitious switch-ups. I think the light really shines on the vocalist though. He showcases a lot of strength in clean and unclean vocals. I love that he has that capability because he puts it to use when trying to communicate different attitudes and emotions. There’s a lot of hurt and pain in the lyrical content, but also has glimpses of confidence in who he is.
To further my opinions on the vocals and lyrics, I think there has been a lot of improvement since the previous record(s). As I said, I usually only hand pick a few songs from the other albums that I like, and one of the reasons the others get left off the playlist is sometimes due to poor lyrical writing or lack of vocal diversity. So the biggest improvement by far is that. Far better written lyrics and consistency. Accompanied by a stronger singing voice specifically. The cleans are a lot more favorable to my ears. It’s these switch ups and embrace of multiple angels within a song that keep the album interesting for multiple listens, even if those switch ups can be a bit unsmooth here and there.
The Way It Ends is a concrete release from Currents that has to be my personal favorite from them. It’s the first album from them that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed front to back. I think this album can be a grower for people, I know it is for me. I already enjoy it but there’s a couple humps I need to get used to. The diversity is what modern metalcore records need and thrive from. Although I don’t believe they have completely mastered their sound yet, the outcome is without a doubt commendable and stands strong.
Strongest Song: A Flag To Wave, Second Skin
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/currents/1374700693