The Skinny: Had things gone only slightly differently for Harrisburg, PA’s An Early Ending, the five piece band could have ended up with a grimly ironic moniker. While in the midst of a summer 2009 tour, the band’s van was struck head on while traveling to their next show in Missouri, resulting in a near-fatal wreck. A number of serious injuries were incurred by the band and its crew, from the loss of teeth to, in one case, the loss of a limb, derailing the band’s tour and seemingly unraveling An Early Ending’s future.

Fast forward two years, and the band that once seemed to be over before it started is one of the most buzzed-about, potential-packed bands on the underground metal circuit. After time spent recovering their health, rediscovering their passion for music and redefining their sound, and An Early Ending are preparing for the release of their first material since the accident. Despite the trauma and temporary set back to their career caused by the accident, vocalist Alex Runk wouldn’t change a thing.

“The accident hurt us in many many ways besides just the physical damage,” recalls Runk. “We lost our van, trailer, equipment and nearly our dreams. It’s a shattering realization when you realize absolutely everything you have worked for is gone. I honestly didn’t know if we were every going to play again. But I think that ultimately, the accident had a positive outcome,” he explains. “We are all stronger both as individuals and as a group. I feel we have way more fuel and desire to keep going – more then ever, actually.”

That fire – the type that separates those who want to play music from those who need to – is on full display on the band’s sophomore effort, Igniter. The result is an album that draws an influence from the metalcore bands that An Early Ending grew up on and often share the stage with, while pulling in elements of mainstream hard rock to create a sound that is pummeling yet chorus-driven. It’s a sonic assault that manages to avoid the scream-sing-scream formula associated with the genre. Recorded at Threshold Studios with producer Brian “Bone” Thorburn (Haste The Day, Amarna Reign), Igniter’s eight tracks straddle the fence between blistering metal and radio-friendly melodic rock, finding a delicate balance between the two that, somehow, never sounds forced.

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