I was pretty excited when I heard that David Bottrill was chosen to produce the new Mudvayne album. This gave me some hope for what Mudvayne were going to try to achieve, considering the resume and list of artists that Bottrill has worked with in the past (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Tool, etc.). I thought that L.D. 50 was a promising major label debut, but I could sense that they had more ambition and musical/technical prowess than to be unfairly lumped into a group of Slipknot, Korn, Nu-metal wannabes by a lot of the press.Well, on “The End of All Things To Come”, Bottrill’s work with the group has paid off in letting them more fully realize their ambition and the potential of their musical talent. Their second major label album is a slicker, more refined, and mature version of the music that they have been making for several years. The production values have grown while the excess fat has been cut out – they have created a lean, mean record. As lead singer, now christened “Chud”, explains on the limited edition DVD that accompanies the disc – “The album is at the same time much harder than the hardest track on LD 50 and much mellower than the mellowest track on LD 50, with everything in between” – from a dynamics standpoint, he hits the nail on the head. Like their closest metal kin, Tool, their new songs are razor sharp, rhythmically precise, immensely melodic, with the rhythm section never veering out of control. This is progressive, rhymically challenging metal; although not as much so as say, Dream Theater or Fates Warning. Another thing of note is that the bass isn’t as prominent as it was on LD 50. On the surface, this could be perceived as a bad thing, but with the bass taking a step back, it actually allows the other instruments to intertwine better and create a more cohesive band sound (and btw, the drumming on this record is amazing). The vocals have improved greatly over the debut, with less reliance on the “hoarse death shout” and more on “clean” vocal melody. The lyrics are above average for the genre – they border on ridiculous and cliche in some instances, but for the most part they are well written and are more thoughtful than your standard issue metal lyrics. Finally, like most challenging albums, it takes more than a couple of spins to completely sink in, but it is quite rewarding after you take the time to absorb what it has to offer.My final overall opinion is that this is album is highly recommended to progressive metal fans. Mudvayne have proved with “The End of All Things To Come” that there are still some great “thinking man” metal records being made today. If you have enjoyed the last two Tool albums or even a fan of more “extreme” prog metal such as Opeth, this album will make a great addition to your record collection.