The Beginning Of All Things to End
In 1997 Mudvayne released an 8-track EP titled Kill, I Oughtta. According to the band this was in order to meet a grassroots demand that had been growing for several months before it's release for studio material. The EP was rather good and it eventually led to Mudvayne releasing their actual debut in 2000, L.D. 50, and them skyrocketing in popularity. In the wake of the success of L.D. 50, Mudvayne decided it would re-release Kill, I Oughtta to their now vastly larger fan-base. A well intentioned decision, as the band claimed to protect their fans from scammers and bootleggers who claimed they had access to the EP.
The compilation / EP hybrid would come to be known as The Beginning Of All Things to End, and was released in 2001, a year after the release of L.D. 50. The release is undoubtedly better than the 1997 EP it's based off of, as it contains all it's contents as well as two remixes of Dig (the hit single off of L.D. 50) and a 17 minute long experimental electronic track from which L.D. 50's name was based off of. The remixes are what you'd expect from the early 00's- the first one a techno/eurodance style (not good sounding with a heavy metal band) and the other being a sort of industrial metal remix that disassociates things like the guitar and bass from one another and intersperses them in solo parts of the song. 'L.D. 50' if it were to be compared to something, is like Orbital on either meth or steroids. Maybe both. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it as I'm not really an experienced connoisseur of avant-garde music, but it's safe to say I don't return to it to much looking for enjoyment.
While we're at it I might as well review the original material that was featured on Kill, I Oughtta, as it was the main attraction for original buyers and is admittedly the best part of this release. Being from the 90's, the music takes elements from then-current nu metal artists. The opener 'Poop Loser' with it's sophisticated motif of "you're a motherfucking piece of shit/and you'll never amount to nothin'" is extremely similar of something Jonathan Davis would, and in fact did sort of do on many of Korn's albums. Granted, Chad Gracey and Davis are much different, but it is more or less an ode to their influencers. 'Seed' is really where the album begins, acting as a much stronger and more powerful opening. From there heavy crunch of the overly aggressive guitar and bass coincide well with the almost drug fueled vocal techniques of Gracey. His voice held, and continued to hold a subtle amount of emotional value as he constantly switches from clean to scream vocals on a dime, often at unpredictable times. The strength of much of the tracks of Mudvayne's catchiness, of which there are a heavy amount. The almost deriding style of the vocals mixed with raw instrumentation such as this make for a sort of masochistic experience. Mudvayne's performance seems like a haphazard and painful one, but in reality it's just a facade, and acts more as an aesthetic. Kill, I Oughtta isn't exactly as progressive as the band would later become only 3 years later, but it is a great slice of what comprised the alternative/nu-metal scene in the mid-late 90's.
The Beginning of All Things to End acts as a sort of alternative debut to L.D. 50, appealing to a more commercial audience and to those who weren't as fond of the band's 2000 album. As a Mudvayne fan myself however, I'd wholeheartedly say it's worthwhile piece of material.
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