Album review for “The End is Where We Begin” by Thousand Foot Krutch

In November of 2011, Thousand Foot Krutch wanted to release their new album, “The End is Where We Begin” independently. The record was finished, but the band called on their fans to help with funding to distribute it. They launched a Kickstarter campaign and over 2,600 fans pledged more than $105,000 toward the cause. Being a supporter of the band for almost 10 years, I was one of these dedicated “backers” and received a copy of the new album in advance for my pledge. As always, Thousand Foot Krutch did not disappoint and delivered another high-energy and impressive album.

What sounds like a racing heartbeat opens the record as a synthesized voice says, “Welcome. You have activated all systems. Deactivation is not an option. You must find the truth. Remember, not everything is what it seems. If you don’t stand for something, you might fall for anything. The end is where we begin.” It’s all a bit strange and borderline cheesy. A similar message closes the record in “Outroduction.” Skipping these two altogether automatically makes the album stronger and the listener won’t miss anything in doing so.

TFK’s classic hard rock sound takes center stage in songs such as “We Are,” “Let the Sparks Fly” and “I Get Wicked.” The band seems to have always stuck to the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And that ideology works. As a pleasant surprise, traces of TFK’s rap-core roots are very evident on the record, as well. The tracks “Light up the Sky,” “Courtesy Call” and “Down” all feature Trevor McNevan’s clever and sometimes sarcastic rhymes coupled with catchy, rock hooks.

Perhaps the strongest song on the album is the first single, “War of Change.” Released during the early stages of the Kickstarter campaign, the song gives the perfect glimpse at TFK’s maturity as songwriters. Other stand-outs are the slower tracks on the album, something that has always been a strong suit for the band. “Be Somebody” describes Trevor’s relationship with God as he sings, “When I sit alone at night your thoughts burn through me like a fire. You’re the only one who knows who I really am. We all want to be somebody. We just need a taste of who we are. We all want to be somebody. We’re willing to go but not that far.” Channeling Needtobreathe, TFK combines the mandolin and a sweet melody in “All I Need to Know.” It’s a very radio friendly tune and should be successful on the Christian music charts.

Trevor is normally not known to write “story songs,” but he takes a stab at it in “Fly on the Wall.” He sings, “We had a plan to build a wall, a great divide that would never fall. To separate us from all the pain. And keep our skeletons locked away.” In the closer, “So Far Gone,” the band once again shows their softer side in an emotional song about God’s faithfulness: “Sometimes I wonder why you even care. ‘Cause when I leave, you’re always there with me. And like a candle makes a brighter place, this mark you’ve made on me can’t be erased.”

Taking Thousand Foot Krutch’s entire catalog into consideration, “The End is Where We Begin” is probably their most well-rounded effort to date. It gives us a little bit of everything. It’s energetic and fun, reflective and honest, and a solid record from start to finish.

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