REVIEW: After the End – “Making a Monster”

By DJ Mortimer Steel

Chain Border

Making a MonsterA melancholy mix of gothic, classical and industrial rock elements come together to create a world shaped with driving rhythms and razor sharp synth, colored with acoustic pianos and weeping strings and brought to life by the most twisted of story tellers. After The End is the brainchild of Mark Bomhoff, who's original compositions have also appeared in projects for GAP, The U.S. Navy, NASA and others including student and independent film. After The End is currently signed to the Empire Media label based in Central Florida and is in the process of promoting the 2003 re-mastered and remixed version of Making A Monster through college and web radio as well as producing an original feature-length film.

Making A Monster is truly a spooktacular disc. Very much in the old school coldwave/neoclassical darkwave format. Driving synth and piano lines fused with pounding drum beats and at times arpeggio madness. The title cut Making A Monster will definitely remind people of tracks from the band Martyr Complex or at least where they should have gone! Very similar in vox and synth lines, but on a much more progressed level. Cuckoo Clock starts off with a sweet piano lead then into creepy organ tones mashed with arpeggiated synth layers and sweet percussion hits. This CD is truly darkwave with balls!

Better Then Alone slams right into coldwave hell. All tracks destined to crowd any dancefloor. Speedy tempos with fantastic variations of synth and piano work. Killing Yourself is one of my top picks. The intro starts off nice with orchestral elements intertwining with classic darkwave keyboards and well composed string accents. The combination makes for a tasty track anyone could sink their fangs into. Next up, Invention of Flesh, with its black metal tinged keyboard lines and arpeggiated basslines veering from serene to a full on electro assault!

Open Arms Empty starts off with a mellow piano intro maintaining a waltzy rhythm with classical overtones, beautiful layers of piano and synth work with that vintage darkwave flavor of days gone by. Sometimes a lost love can be the basis for a great song as it is here. Someone Else comes in with that sort of mysterious intro and maintains a dramatic vibe with well executed variations in tempo changes, adds a dash of choir chorales and the mix is an excellent display of emotional electro. This Is How It Ends comes at us with a mellow intro that changes into varying upbeat and down tempo complexity – choice art for sure.

Cuckoo Clock (Groove Asylum remix) – Comes at you with a James Bond techno theme type feel to it. The chorus parts seem to sound a lot better then the regular vocal parts which at times seem off time in the mix yet only slightly. For the most part the sound of this song is definitely different than the sounds which ATE composes his music with, but it is nice to see what someone else’s interpretation would sound like. Making A Monster (High Voltage remix) – Going a little off on the trip hop tip with this remix adding some elements of electroclash and hip hop flair. It’s amazing the way other people can recreate a completely different sound from a song that had a much different direction originally.

Open Arms Empty (Pressure Sequence remix) – The overall sound of the music here is a great fast pace EBM sound. The only thing it would benefit greatly from is a use of processing on the vocals. To clean for a dance mix, a use of stereo imaging or some reverb or maybe some vocoding would have went a long way here. In some spots there was some work that had indeed been done and it made those parts sound a lot more in sequence with the mix. A nice idea that with a little more work with vocals would be a dancefloor smash.

Someone Else (Symphony Of Horror remix) – A nice spooky trip hop sound in this one. A nice Halloween inspired vibe. This is indeed the best remix of the bunch. I love the use of sounds and the way the vocals on this track are more controlled with the mix. A great track indeed! Radio shows be advised this is one to play on Halloween each year till you die! This Is How It Ends (Tears In The Sand remix) – The ballad of the heart continues with yet another band. Women can be the basis for some great love ballads and this one is full of masterful use of piano. The sound is not what is considered your usual gothic or darkwave, but veers from more classical piano and string section elements to gothic and darkwave changes which add to a sweet sound and overall strong mix.

After The End has a great way of using classical elements of piano, strings and brass and incorporates them with traditional darkwave textures to create a unique and well composed piece of musical works. The remixes don't seem to capture the sound I like most of After The End, but two of the remixes did expand the sound found on the disc as a whole. if you are a fan of neo-classical darkwave this CD is right up your alley. You can pick it up from the ATE website or Empire Media's website. Making A Monster is chock full of soon to be dark dancefloor smash hits.

Contact Information:
Post: Dekonstruction Records, 124 Hibiscus St Apt 2, Tarpon Springs, FL, 34689-3453

Legends Online